This morning I was going to post pictures of the Ice Storm, lament on the bad weather and discuss the High School Musical play I saw last night. However, when I checked my emails this morning I realized I had to share with you an email from my brother. He is probably going to kill me for this, but you guys know how proud I am of him and I can’t help but share with you stories that reflect why he is so wonderful. This email was sent to my parents and me this morning after my brother got off the night shift as the medic on life flight.
My Breakfast Story…..
I think I talked to all of you this morning on my way home from work. What a crazy night!! Just one of many for me. I decided to stop at Denny’s on the way home and grab some breakfast and to take the events of the nights shift all in. I arrived and was seated in a booth near the front door. Shortly after I sat down I talked on the phone with Jen for a little bit. I told her I would call her later as she was busy with the bad weather at home and I was ready to order and go home. Now here I sit at home unable to sleep without sharing this story with you all.
As I hung up the phone I watched an older Black Gentlemen entered and sat in the booth behind me. He was in his late 50’s I presume. I could tell by the way he looked that his life had been hard. His clothes were well worn and tattered and it was obvious to me that this gentleman was still pounding his way through life doing some sort of manual labor and probably would be until the day he died. I ordered my food and told the waitress thank you. She asked me about a thousand questions about my job and about what it was like. It was more annoying than flattering. Part of me wanted to tell her that it was just a paycheck and one that I loved earning. Across the way from me sat another older white gentleman probably of the same age as the man described above. He was dressed in a suit and it was obvious he was getting ready to start his day as well. A few minutes passed and he happened to look over his shoulder at the booth behind me and he shouted out, “Roger….is that you??” The Gentleman behind me responded. It was obvious that they somehow knew each other. They began to talk and soon thereafter the black gentleman went over to sit with the other man across from me. I overheard every bit of their conversation. It was now blatantly obvious that somehow, someway, and some years ago these two had been pretty good if not really good friends. They were discussing everything in their lives….basically catching up on the years past. I heard the white gentleman ask the other gentleman how his wife and family were doing. The black gentleman responded with hesitance. He began to tell a story about how his wife had recently passed away unexpectedly. It was so sad to hear this….there are just some people you come across that you generally feel sorry for and this gentleman was one of them. I don’t know why but sometimes not even the worst of my patients get to me while the least of them do…it’s all circumstantial or it has to do with some sort of connection….don’t ask me why but it does…I just can’t explain it.
Their conversation continued and I slowly ate my breakfast with imposing ears and with eyes feeling heavy. The eagle’s song Desperado played over the speakers in the restaurant which did not help at all by the way. The black gentleman returned the question to the other gentleman….how’s your wife, family, and kids. He proceeded to individually ask about all of them by their names. He then asked about one of the man’s sons who I believe was named Brent or something to that effect. The white gentleman responded that Brent was killed about 2 years ago in Mosul Iraq in a Fire Fight. This was absolutely it for me I turned to look out the window and tried to regain my composure as I am now while typing this. I slowly finished my breakfast and asked the waitress for my check. She soon returned with the check and I went to grab my wallet and when I did every article I had in it came fumbling out…as I played 52 pickup I came across this card that Dad had given me about 6 months ago. This card was attached to a piece of mail that I received. Inside this mail was a doctor’s bill that was paid by my father with a copy of the check and the card I mentioned above attached to it. The card read as follows: You have been selected to receive a Random Act of Kindness…and the smaller print at the bottom said basically to pay it forward if you appreciated this act of kindness. I remember putting this card in my wallet with the full intent to use it but never have…..until this morning. My grand slam breakfast cost me about $35 dollars and I left the card with the waitress and a copy of their bill after she combined the tickets. I asked her to please leave it at the table with the two gentlemen. I snuck out of my booth and took one last look at the two men who were still buried in conversation and coffee. I got into my car, played Desperado on the iPod and wept the whole way home.
Thank you my family and God for giving me the ability to feel and love in a world that seems to have so little of it sometimes. Hope you all have a great day….goodnight!
I think Lent is a great time to think about Paying It Forward.
BTW, Ladies he is single, cute, funny, and has a heart of gold…however I might be somewhat biased.