Yesterday morning, I took the kids to Chick-Fil-A for our "Fun Week" breakfast. We never do that, but since it was a special week, it deserved a special breakfast. :)
When we got there, I noticed that it was practically empty...this is highly unusual for Chick-Fil-A, which typically has a line wrapped around it and no place to sit inside. I breathed a sigh of relief, ordered our meal, and instructed the kids to go get us a table. After our food arrived, I walked around near the playground area (after all, where else would the kids want to sit?!), and saw my kiddo's patiently waiting at the table. They had picked a spot right next to a group of elderly women and a few of them looked at me and smiled sweetly as I walked past. Their smiles, complexion and clear eyes struck me...I smiled back and sat down with the kids.
It didn't take long for the kids to gobble up their b-fasts and run to the indoor playground, leaving me alone with my coffee and my thoughts....ok, well - to be honest, I didn't have too many thoughts! Shep's incessant talking has fried any and all brain cells I used to have, so when I'm alone, I simply veg.
While I sat there...vegging...sipping my coffee...I couldn't help but peek over at the group of elderly women. I noticed immediately that there was one elderly man with the group. He was sitting next to a woman with beautiful flushed cheeks and a sweet tender smile...she shared her smile with her friends a lot that morning. The women were most likely all in their early to mid 70's...each of them hobbled and limped around when got up to refill their coffee, but despite their weak bodies, their senses of humor were sharp! Those women laughed the entire time they fellowshipped and the longer I sat there, the more I had to force myself not to stare. I was so drawn in by their obvious close bonds and their joy that I honestly wanted to pull up my chair and become a part of their group!!
That was when the older gentlemen stood up to leave...he walked outside to his car and came back in with his wife's personal items, re-filled his coffee and told the ladies it was time for him to go. He then leaned down to kiss his wife sweetly on the lips, pat her cheek tenderly, and told her that he loved her...he asked her to please be safe and that he'd see her soon. I wondered what in the world she was doing that he felt he needed to tell her that....
His wife watched him walk out of the restaraunt and the rest of the women all got up to give her a hug and wish her "good-luck". And within a matter of minutes, everyone but the wife had limped out to their cars - but not without saying that "Lord willin', they'd meet again in the mornin'.". I sat there...speechless...tears in my eyes. I'm not sure if I can explain how tender of a moment it was to watch the older couple embracing and the look in the wife's eyes as she watched her husband leave. I wondered why there were no other men there that morning...had all the other husbands passed away?...that thought alone brought another fresh sheen of tears to my eyes.
I sat there and contemplated this little group that had drawn me in that morning until eventually, the last woman...the wife, got up to leave. She turned and smiled at me before she walked out and I waved...the words "good luck" were on my lips, but I caught them right as they were about to roll off my tongue...I had no idea what she was doing, but I certainely didn't want her to know I had been eaves dropping on their conversation. As she left, I thought to myself that I would be lucky to know her...that I would be lucky to know any of the women in that group.
I think that if I see them in their again, I will have to go over and introduce myself...pick their brains and find out all the little nuggets of gold they have to impart...and simply share in their enthusiasm for life! :)