Kevin was a fictional character on the award-winning Australian television series “Sea Change”.
Kevin ran the local caravan park and on the surface, he appeared to be a fairly one-dimensional character – a gullible, but honest single-father doing the best he could on minimum wage and abilities. ..... but doing it with an air of a man who was seemingly happy with his lot in life. ...and he loved his son. A lot.
He was the kind of bloke that quietly went about his business, giving a hand to anyone in need and asking nothing in return. Kevin could fix a toaster or a VW Kombi van and he did odd jobs for the townsfolk of the fictional seaside town of “Pearl Bay”.
Kevin’s worth to the town was only really discovered when his Kombi van broke down. Suddenly, the elderly people of Pearl Bay were either lined up in court on traffic offences or lined up at the hospital after a run in with the pointy end of a lawn mower. ..... and that’s when the townsfolk realised that half the town was running on the good nature and handy-man skills of a happy-go-lucky bloke that most people wrote off as a bit of a simpleton.
You see, Kevin ferried those elderly people to the grocery store and to doctor’s appointments in his trusty Kombi as he knew their driving abilities were poor. He visited them in their homes, mowed their lawns and fixed their houses. He cared about everyone and he was always happy to lend a hand.
Kevin was the glue that held that community together.
I am lucky enough to know a real-life “Kevin”.
My “Kevin” is my parents’ neighbour.
He tinkers about with old engines and runs a side business in fixing lawn mowers. His backyard is strewn with “useful things” that his wife complains about.
He has two 20-something children, one of which is diabetic. He works as a driver for a local company and he never complains about his lot in life.
He does odd jobs for his friends and neighbours. He services their (and my) cars, fixes plumbing problems, mows lawns and takes care of people with a smile. (My parents and I insist on paying him in cash or food even when he never asks for payment for his time).
He was the person who drove me home to collect clothes and toiletries so the kids and I could stay at my parent’s house the night that Greg died.
...and today, he came to my house and replaced the fan-belt in my clothes dryer and was happy to be paid in two-dozen fresh eggs from our hens.
I don’t know what I would do without the “Kevin”s of this world who don’t say “just ask if you need anything” (hear that one before? Well meaning I know, but I can never think of something appropriate to ask for ... ). The “Kevin”s of the world just DO the little and big things efficiently, kindly, unobtrusively....
And I’m so grateful that I have a “Kevin” quietly helping me.