Do you go through life never knowing who you sit or pass by or whose path you intersect or run tandem with? Whether it be on the street, at work, or in a restaurant? Life being so hurried nowadays – no one stops to say hello or socially connect anymore.
Recently, I sat at a restaurant enjoying a meal with a friend. We busied ourselves with our conversation neglecting the patrons at the tables close-by. We somehow managed to exchange a smile but really didn’t bother with anything more. The table to our right, sat a lovely couple; enveloped in their world, but extended their hand with smiles and a question of “Where are you from? Are you local?” which afforded the opportunity to engage.
Once engaged, at their prompting, we were met with pleasantries that continued well after the restaurant closed and the chairs had been lifted and tipped. I learned their ages, their addresses, their children, their marital and dating history, their occupations, their likes and dislikes, and their sorrows from losing spouses, just to mention a few. They are 81 years old, with she being the oldest, by a couple of months. We shared pictures, some cheek to cheek. My children claim that I have a sign on my forehead that says “I listen.” Glad I had my sign on.
We had just met, but it felt as if I had known them from a long distant past. The comfort level was striking. This couple shared with me happiness. I am so thrilled to have crossed paths with them. We even exchanged monetary value as I made a purchase offered at my request – her recent book.
I met Beatrice and Lou. They are from Canada, not the United States. She is an illustrator and published author of children’s books, as recent as 2014. She goes by Beatty because she never cared much for her first name. She was surprised to know how lovely I thought she was and appreciative that I bent my knees slightly as we had our picture taken. She said it made her feel and look taller and she thanked me for that.
She shared how ambivalent she was that she allowed her hair to go natural – at her partner’s request, and her uncertainty about that decision. She shared her remaining roots to make known that at one time she did in fact have very dark hair. Her companion, Lou, chuckled and shared at how well she fit in their neighborhood, which could pass for a parade of Q-tips when all gathered. I continued how that mattered not, as her beauty would stand out above them all. She blushed.
We talked religion and how she turned down his proposal of marriage because she felt it was unnecessary, “We live like we are married, we argue like we are married, we love like we are married, so there is really no need to get married, I’d have to change too many documents.” Lou refuses to ever ask her again. They met on Match.com and she was quick to include that he lied on his profile about smoking.
I am so thankful that I chose to extend my hand rather than turn my cheek because I would have missed the opportunity to engage with two special people that crossed my path. I hope and pray that again my new friends will intersect with my journey and tell me more and bless me with their presence.
Upon leaving the restaurant we exited different doors, but ended up meeting again outside, which prompted much laughter and continued conversation. My life felt joy and gratitude from their presence and I could tell, by the rise in their energy, and the smiles on their faces, that they felt the same.
So, look around frequently, you may be missing much without knowing.