A few months ago, I made a post about having a bad day and being out having to do some shopping. Inside of WalMart, I was suddenly jarred into reality when a smiling homeless man walked towards me and just before getting to me, he put his hand up for a high 5. And I obliged him and the hands of a man blessed-with-home met mid air with the hands of a man not blessed-with-home. Indeed, it was a beautiful experience that made my day all good again. The skinny stranger in a green coat didn’t ask for anything and didn’t want anything it seemed but simply to connect with another human.
And apparantly, that’s what I needed as well that day because my day went from 0-60 in a millisecond with that high 5.
Today, back in the same Walmart, I was stopped talking to a friend about the best places to summer vacay on the beach and how this is nice and bla bla all about our great and comfortable lives. We conversed over my buggy full of necessary things such as chicken flavored Purina dog food for Chevy, a smelly candle and an embarrassingly gigantic box of Honey Grahams.
Then out of the corner of my eye, I saw the same man sitting on a bench staring at us. He soon wandered over and asked me for 50 cents for a Coke. I gave him a dollar and he smiled, said thanks and walked away. But deep down I wanted to thank him and give him more for making my day previously with that fantastic High 5; for the gift he gave me that day.
I stopped by the pretzel place on the end and bought 2 pepperoni pretzels, all hot and fresh. I bought 2 in hopes of finding him again.
Outside, hunkered from the cold north winds, behind a Coke machine, there he was. He was drinking his diet Coke and smoking. I went up to him, he stood and smiled that same big smile he had before. I told him my name and he said his name was Brad. I asked if he was living on the street and he said yes he was. I asked if he liked pepperoni pretzels and he said he loved them. I gave him the pretzel and told him thanks for making my day with the high 5 a few months back. He said ‘you’re welcome and thank you for the pretzel.’and then he gave me ANOTHER smiley high 5.
I asked if he needed anything else? Was he warm enough? He said that he was fine and that he appreciated the offer but he was staying warm.I told him to take care of himself and not to ever forget that he was important in this world. We shook hands and I turned to walk away as he sat down on the cold concrete by the Coke machine. As I walked down the sidewalk a few steps, I heard him say ‘Hey!’
I stopped and turned back around thinking he might ask me for more money or something out of my buggy.
But I turned back around and my new friend Brad said back to me…
‘I just wanted to say I love you’.
I returned it with ‘I love you too, Brad! You take care of yourself and you stay warm buddy because Brad is important!’
He said thank you and smiled big and went back to his world and I to mine.
The huge lump in my throat as I walked away was most definatly not on my Wal Mart list.
So if you see Brad tell him Hi and ask him for a high 5 because he hands out the most excellent High 5s.
Indeed, We Are Our Brother’s Keepers.
And that’s the best I can tell about it.