Thursday, October 23, 2008

Unexpected Connection

Today was a day of random connections - of the best kind. My morning started off on a happy note with the smiling face and voice of the middle aged woman working the McDonald's drive through who handed me my coffee, wished me a wonderful day and offered me a free newspaper. I drove off feeling surprisingly uplifted and thinking how small gestures can affect the world -- my world. I made a mental note to try to pay it forward today.

My lunchtime trip to the mall for a bite offered a few interesting opportunities. I was looking for a spot to each my sandwich in the crowded food court when I noticed a table for four with just a tiny elderly lady sitting at it. I asked her if I could sit down and she gave me the biggest grin and an "of course Honey... I am just waiting for that young fella to bring me a cart". She was dressed for a special occasion -- several strands of pearls, lipstick with her wig slightly askew on her head. She seemed so happy to be out and about, and made sure to say her goodbyes before leaving, leaning heavily on her cart.

She no sooner left and I was joined by an elderly gentleman in his seventies. He asked if he could take me to lunch, winking as he asked. Then he said he couldn't be blamed for trying. My mouth was full of chicken salad however I nodded and smiled. He launched into one story after another about the weather, his tower climbing days and the jobs he held when he was young. His face lit up and his eyes twinkled as he told me his stories. I couldn't help but wonder what it was about these elderly people that warmed my heart so. Could it be that we see our own grandparents/parents in the faces of these sweet souls or that we get a glimpse of our own mortality? As I collected my crinkled sandwich wrapper and got up to leave he apologised for holding me up and thanked me for a delightful lunch.

I told him the pleasure was all mine -- and I meant it. I went back to work energised and revitalized from the chance encounters with the nameless people I had shared some special moments with. I made a mental note to try to pay it forward .... whenever I can.

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