Sunday, September 20, 2009

This Veteran's Day

Yesterday, I was shopping for some picture frames at Michael's. I had been hemming and hawing over two different frames for quite a while when an older gentleman joined me in the aisle. I could tell he was searching high and low for his perfect frame, so in my typical fashion (that tends to drive The Boy crazy), I spoke, "with so many options, they don't make the decision easy, do they?" The man turned to me and agreed. He stated that he was dismayed about the quality of the work. He wasn't looking for any particular frame as much as one with tight corners and no dents (good luck). We chatted for a few minutes, smalltalk mostly, and he said he had an autograph to frame. I'm not sure if it's because I was being nosy or if I just wanted to keep talking to him, but I asked whose autograph he had. He launched into a story about his days in the Korean War and how he fancied a pilot who worked his way from private to colonel over the course of three wars. A fantastic storyteller! As the conversation wound down, I paused. I asked the gentleman, "sir, can I shake your hand? I'd like to thank you for your service." He smiled, took my hand, smiled, and said, "you're welcome, dear." We went our separate ways, him with an unblemished frame, myself empty-handed.

Never forget: every day is Veteran's Day.

I am really glad I started that conversation. Hopefully I made his day, because talking with him certainly made mine.

1 comment:

MissKris said...

Bless your heart for stepping out of your comfort zone and engaging him in conversation. Sadly, so few young people ever take the time to talk to Seniors and they don't know what they're missing. We raised our kids to be respectful and to not be 'afraid' of the older adults while they were growing up in church. I can't tell you how many times Dear Hubby or I were told what wonderful kids we had, how they never passed by the older folks without saying hello and talking to them. One story that has always warmed my heart was an older man working on a church building next to our house when our daughter was 2. He was SO kind to her and always had time for her. One day she ran up to him outside and said, "You are my BEST friend!" He never forgot that and, until the day he died many years later, whenever he'd see Kaiti he'd ask her, "Am I still your best friend?" And she'd always smile and tell him, "Yes, you are!" What a darling man he was.