“Beautiful girl, walk a little slower when you walk by me
Lingering sunset, stay a little longer with the lonely sea”
After a long day at work, I hit the gym as usual. It was a typical Tuesday. I worked out on my claimed machine of choice, the Cross Ramp for about 40 minutes, biked for 10, and did brief ab work on the floormats.
Thus far, there was nothing particularly “special” about my day. I showered, ate dinner in my car, and walked into my History class. A history class which is 2 hours and 45 minutes long. Yes, that’s right. Surprisingly, the class is VERY interesting. I don’t think I’d be able to take such a late night, long class, provided ANY other professor. He truly brings the stories of history to life and leaves you EXCITED about what he’s talking about. You know…the kind of proffessor who ACTUALLY wants to be there?
1 La Tortilla Factory original wrap with 1 dollop garlic Tribe hummus, mesquite turkey slices, spinach, and sliced baby maters
Although, the class was amazing, I still have yet to share with you the highlight of my night. After class, I headed out the doors. By this time it was about 9:00PM, because the professor ran a little late. I held the door for the man behind me, as usual, but this time I actually got a RESPONSE. The gentleman, a kind, sweet elderly soul who was coming from my class as well, thanked me and made small talk.
2 lil plums
I had actually wondered when I saw him in class, what posessed him to enroll in the first place. After all, he was far past his prime, and a degree would be no use to him at this point in his life. He livened up when I turned around and said to me, “why thank you, dear!” As if surprised that someone would be courteous to a stranger in today’s world.
1 Helen’s Kitchen tofu steak with sliced yellow pepper, carrots, and sugar peas
After chatting about the wonderful class that we had in common, I could tell he was desperate for some kind of companionship. He had forgotten where he parked, so I offered to help him find his car. By this time, he had introduced himself as “Herb” and I found out that he was 88 years old, exactly 4x my age. I knew that he must have a ton of life experience (none of which he was afraid to share!).
Banana Fudge Vitatop x2
As we strolled along, he told me TONS of things. We were no longer aquiantences, but friends. Just to name a few, he sang me a song that he said reminded him of the moment…Frank Sinatra’s, “This Is All I Ask“. The line at the beginning of the post is the one he kept repeating. He told me that I should definitely use my smile to my advantage. I could probably get anything I want. Haha.
Herb told me how great it was that I was getting an education and shared a lot about his family with me. He guessed that I was wondering what an “old timer” like him was doing back in classes. This brought him to mention that he needed something to occupy his time. He got lonely at the assisted living grounds that he dwelled in, and missed his wife a lot, who passed away 2 years ago this Easter.
100 calorie Cocoa roasted almonds
His gentle nature when talking about his adoration for his wife brought tears to my eyes. The stories he told my only verified my opinion of the way a marriage should be. As exhausted as I was, even when we found his car, I couldn’t pull myself away from the conversation.
He went on to mention his memories of World War II and some of the highs and lows of his life. It’s so funny how you can learn SO much more from a person than a book. His love of life and thankfulness for all he had was so inspiring, that I completely forgot about any sense of fatigue that I had felt.
1 Light strawberry yogurt
He offered to walk me back to my car (as a true gentleman would), but I suggested that I would be alright…I didn’t want him to lose his way back! I gave him a hug and thanked him for sharing all that he had with me. As much as I thought I was doing HIM a favor, he really was the one blessing me. I wonder how long it has been since he was hugged? It’s sad to think that he doesn’t get a loving embrace from someone everyday. Every person deserves that.
Anyway, what he did next tugged at my heart strings most. He took my hand and kissed the top and then flipped it over and kissed the palm as a means of saying goodbye. He said, “you know why I did that” and I answered, “no”. His reply was something I’ll never forget. He said, “young lady, someone once told me that there’s an artery that runs from the inside of your palm to your heart, and YOU have one beautiful heart“.
I prayed for him on my way home, recollecting everything that we talked about, and hoping that God would keep him safe and keep him company. No one that sweet should ever have to be lonely.
How has God spoken to you through an unexpected encounter??