Sometimes, when you least expect it, one of 'those moments' happens that brings you to your knees. George Carlin said it..."life is not the number of breaths we take, but the number of moments that take our breath away"
Well, one happened to me this morning and I just have to share it. I headed to Wal-Mart to buy groceries (oh what a joy) and was greeted at the door by an older gentleman. I noticed he was a LOT older than the normal, just retired greeters at the front door, but of course I went on my merry way without another thought.
I did my shopping and headed to the check out stand when I turned around and there he was behind me! Again, he greeted me and asked me how I was doing. He had only one small apple in his hand and I offered to let him go ahead of me as I had a full cart.
His withered hand touched my forearm as he said thank you, but declined to jump in front of me. We both began a conversation with the man checking us out. The checker asked if the elderly man was on break and he replied he was hurrying to get back to his station at the door and he didn't want to run late.
As the checkout and our conversation progressed, I found out he grew up in the same town as Sam Walton, he knew the Walton family and told me he was "ahead of Sam in school because Sam was much younger than him"!
As it turns out, he went to work for Wal-Mart when Sam Walton opened his first store. He said he was married with a couple of children and Wal-Mart was a good living. He actually worked his way up to Assistant Manager at another Wal-Mart in Arkansas somewhere and retired before making Store Manager some years ago.
He moved to Houston to be closer to his children and decided the "retired life" wasn't much fun alone after his wife passed on, so he came back to work at my Wal-Mart.
Here's the epiphany moment that stopped me in my tracks. The checkout guy asked him when he was going to retire....again? The elderly gentleman smiled and looked at both of us and said.."I just turned 97 and I figured I'll work until I'm 100 and then I'll think about retiring!" Then he winked at us! I couldn't move!
He said to the checkout guy .."you better hurry and get this nice lady checked out and I'll pay for my apple and get back to my station...I'm late now!!!"
By this time, there were two other ladies with full baskets behind us...they were in tears and I was too. TIME DIDN'T MATTER TO ANY OF US at that moment. I leaned over and kissed him on his cheek and said "thank you" for making my day... by this time all three of us ladies in that line, plus several in the other lines who were listening to the conversation all of us began to clap and cheer as he paid for his apple and headed for the front door where he said goodbye to all of us as we headed out the door!
I apologize for this being long....well no I don't! Sometimes we need to be reminded there are still some wonderful people in the world whose sole purpose is to make others happy.
This little ole gentleman did today and he reminded me of a good number of other things as well that I need to be thankful for!