This day started like many other Sundays. I got up and quietly snuck out of the house to go to early church service. Afterwards I made my normal quick stop at the grocery store before heading back home to a houseful of kiddos. While checking out I struck up a conversation with the older gentlemen who was bagging my groceries. I have exchanged small conversations with him before, he is always friendly and sweet. This morning, however, I learned several wonderful things about him:
He and his wife used to own a restaurant in the mall many years ago – I remember it!
He loved his wife more than anyone! 52 glorious years of marriage to his best friend. Cancer took her from him last August.
He works, not because he needs the money, but because he misses his wife and needs something to do. “It gets lonely in a big ol’ house by yourself.”
He loves his children and is very proud of them and their achievements.
He loves his grandchildren.
In just a few short minutes, this stranger that I cross paths with at least once a week gave me a glimpse of who he was and I fell in love with his life, his story, his passion for the woman he loved so many years and his cheerful heart that is shaded by an emptiness that can’t be filled. If I never see him again in my life, for just a moment he became my friend.
It probably sounds silly I guess but it is moments like these that bring me back to the foundation of what I love about life. I love people and I love stories and every day, everywhere, there is someone who has a story that is waiting to be told. I can’t even begin to fathom what all I miss out on as I run chaotically through my busy days. There are times I lay my head down on my pillow at night and the day was so crammed pack it just seems like a blur.
But some days, just like today, all the busyness stops, and for just a few fleeting moments, a connection is made. A story is shared. A heart is touched. A stranger becomes a friend and life just seems better.