With our little moments we can help make someone feel loved ...
There’s this little, old drug store in my town that I like to buy my postage stamps from. It’s not the closest mail stop by my house but I like it. I like the old feel to it and I like that it has an old-fashioned soda shop inside. I also like the fact that it’s a pharmacy and that the bulk of people that shop there are old. I love older people. I love what they know, where they have been and the stories they tell. And today, I met an older person who left footprints on my heart.
I was in a hurry – I had about 10 minutes before it was time to pick my daughter up from school. It was one of those run in and grab the stamps and dash back out trips. Only my dashing was slowed to a walk when I noticed that an older gentleman was right next to me as I hit the exit door and thought it would be a good idea to hold the door open for him as he was older, had a cane and was clutching a white paper bag holding (what I guessed was a prescription).
Out of the corner of my eye I noticed he didn’t walk through my open door but opened his own door instead. He said something like “Here we go.”
I reached my car and opened the door thinking I would just jump in and drive away. But as I was about to sit down, he asked me the following question: “Does this car get good gas mileage?”
So I didn’t get in the car – just stood holding the door open talking to the little, old man with the cane still clutching his white paper sack.
I yelled back: “Yes! I love this car – no problems, great gas mileage!”
He then replied: “My car has been good too.”
Parked next to my car was an old, green Ford Taurus. I smiled at him and realized he really wanted someone to talk to. Only I was in a pinch for time … my daughter was going to be out of school soon and I really needed to go get her.
I said the only thing that came to my mind: “I hope you have a very merry Christmas.”
He called back to me (by this time he was at his car): “The holidays are a hard time for me.”
My heart sunk. He removed his baseball cap and I could see lots of thick white hair on his head, his eyes glistened as he said: “I’m all alone. My people are gone.”
Oh, I wanted to run over and hug him. No one should be alone at Christmas.
I said: “I’m so sorry. That would be hard. I am so blessed and have my family here.”
He called back: “I grew up here. I’m all alone now – you think about that this holiday.”
I said the only thing that came to mind: “I hope you have a very nice Christmas … I mean that.”
He answered: “Thank you dear…” and tears were streaming down his face.
I drove away and let the tears run down mine. And all day I kept thinking … Wendy, you should have invited him for dinner. I even drove back by the store to see if perhaps he was still there so I could offer him a Christmas dinner invitation. No luck, no green Taurus. No little old man.
His words have stuck all day … and caused me to do some reflecting about the real meaning of Christmas. Christmas is about love, about slowing down and caring, it’s about reaching out and helping someone in need, it’s about taking time to listen and being a light for others around us.
I’m so glad I bumped into that gentleman today – our little moments reminded me that life is precious and the people around us are too.
This holiday season – slow down, listen, reach out and most of all share your love …