Today, I visited the local convenience center to drop off my one bag of trash. Wednesdays are not my favorite day to go, but it was necessary.
An elderly man was across the way, unloading the contents from the trunk of his older model car. As I pulled into place, I realized that he was unaware of my car as it approached; it looked as if he was about to walk out in front of me … so I sharply stopped. So did he.
He waved at me, letting me know that he was aware of me and walked around my car on the way back to his car. I parked and got out and rounded my car to retrieve the bag of trash from my trunk. Most days, the employee(s) at the convenience center does this for me and I linger for a bit of chit-chat with them. They tell me about their kids and grandkids, their health and so on and on. You know what I mean. But on Wednesdays, the employee is not as … attentive as the other fellows. Oh well.
The elderly gentleman who was already making multiple trips across the lot, disposing of his trash in various and sundry bins, noticed me. He immediately came over to take care of my trash and to securely close the lid of my trunk. So I had a bit of chit-chat. I asked his name and told him how appreciative I was for meeting him today. He told me where he lived. He had a deep and comforting voice. He gave me a fatherly look, as if to say “come find me if you ever need anything” or “you be careful out here, young lady.”
And I am ashamed to say, I do not remember either fact, his name nor address. I do remember his face, his voice, his manner and his car.
I almost wanted to cry when I left that lot today. I have the same feeling just writing about him. You see, he was probably older than my father, my parents. From my perspective, I would say that I was in better health than he is.
He knew not who I was but he was taking care of me.
Because that is how men of his generation were, and still are.