BRUSH - UP
ANDERSON DENTAL CARE Nathan Brooks, DDS, Inc.
7525 STATE RD, STE. A, CINCINNATI, OH 45255 | 513-438-8152 | WWW.ATOWNDENTAL.COM | FEBRUARY 2019
THE POWER OF KINDNESS ONE OF THE GREATEST MEN I’VE KNOWN
Last month, as I reflected on my New Year’s resolution to spend more time with my kids, I was reminded of a particularly memorable daddy/daughter date I went on in 2018 in an effort to make that resolution a reality. I had heard that Toys R Us was closing their doors, and since they were having a closeout sale, I decided to take my daughter there so she could experience the childlike wonder of seeing an entire building filled to the brim with toys for the first time. As we meandered through the aisles, I watched her little eyes peer up at the grandeur around her, and I was immediately taken back to my own experiences at Toy R Us as a boy. The first time I visited the store, I was celebrating my 7th birthday with a man named Mr. Klontz. Though he served as a pseudo- adopted grandparent for me for three years, Mr. Klontz wasn’t an actual relative of our family. He met my mother during a particularly difficult time in both of their lives. As the sole provider for four children, my mom was working three jobs just to make ends meet. Having met my mom through one of her jobs, Mr. Klontz decided he wanted to offer his kindness. One of the ways he did so was by taking my siblings and me to Toys R Us on each of our birthdays and giving us a $100 budget. Because I was so young, I never knew that Mr. Klontz decided to help with our struggles as a way to cope with his own. In fact, I only found out last month that during the three years he took us on these birthday excursions, he spent the vast majority of his time at the hospital visiting his wife, who was dying from cancer.
While I likely wouldn’t have understood the weight of this gesture as a kid, looking back now, I can’t remember a greater kindness. It was already such a selfless act, but knowing now that he dealt with such immense sadness in his own life makes his relationship with my family even more appreciated.
birthday experiences, he also made sure to offer nice gestures to my mom as well. She was an orchestra teacher for 4th–12th-grade students. Mr. Klontz said, “Every music teacher needs a piano in their house,” and he bought her one. It’s still in her house to this day. When my mom told me the story of how we met Mr. Klontz and his wife’s illness last month, she also informed me they had both passed. After those three years he spent caring for us, I never saw him again. As I walked down those Toys R Us aisles with my daughter, I was overcome with the desire to thank him for all he did for my family. My siblings and I never really knew we needed anything more than what my mom provided, but Mr. Klontz truly enriched our lives. He helped us through our struggles even though he was struggling himself. In honor of Mr. Klontz’s kindness, I want to encourage you to remember acts of kindness you’ve benefited from and to pass those along to others every opportunity that you get. You can’t imagine the difference it makes.
I remember one particularly moving birthday, when Mr. Klontz bought me a brand-new bicycle. Getting a bike is exciting for any kid, but I was the youngest in my family, so up to that point, I was always using my brother’s hand-me-downs. And this was the first time I had one that was just mine. He took me home and recorded a video of me riding it around my driveway. With the advent of smartphones, the idea of recording this experience might not seem all that cool. But in the late ‘80s, it was a much bigger deal. He said, “Every kid should have a home video to watch when they are older,” and for as long as I can remember, his videos were the only ones our family had. While he gave my siblings and me great “Because I was so young, I never knew that Mr. Klontz decided to help with our struggles as a way to cope with his own.”
– Dr. Brooks
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