Last night I pulled into the old bread store on my way home from work
An elderly man was standing in the middle of the parking lot, waving me past him as he stood with a couple grocery bags in his hands.
I smiled, waved back and as I got out of my car
walked over to thank him and just say hello.
He was very thin, wearing ragged pants, a heavy sweater
and a big grin as I walked up to him and smiled back.
He was chattering away ~ really animated ~ and I realized he wasn't speaking English.
I caught a word here and there
but between his accent and the language thing
I just kept grinning and saying nice, generic things like
....I see you're collecting pop cans
and isn't it a beautiful evening
clueless to what he was saying back.
I believe I understood the word "money" as he pointed to his pop cans
and I think he tried to show me he collected ball caps
because he had a couple of them in his other bag.
He just kept grinning and chattering and grinning and chattering
and odd as it may seem
I just got the idea he was thanking me
And really, the only thing I could think of that he might thank me for
was not running over him in the parking lot.
I just grinned, gave his hand a little squeeze and turned to walk into the store.
Right then, he grabbed my hand and looked up at me, grinned wayyyyyy big again
and he leaned over and he gave me a sweet little slow and very soft kiss on my cheek.
It about made me cry.
It was just so sweet and so honest and so spontaneous from such an open and generous heart.
I was hoping he understood as I hugged him and said
....ohhh thank you, that is so nice of you, thank you so much.
He looked at me like this shy little kid
this wrinkled old fellow with silver stubble all over his cheeks
and he took his hand and he pointed to his cheek.
He wanted me to kiss him on the cheek.
I laughed out loud.
Are you kidding? I'm standing in the middle of this parking lot with someone I have never ever met
who just kissed me on the cheek and I have no idea if he's saying
"Thank you, I'm going to follow you home and kill you" or what
and he gestures so sweetly and so gently, wanting me to kiss him on the cheek.
Well, of course, I did
I kissed him right on his scratchy little sun-wrinkled cheek
with its smattering of whiskers and if I do say so myself
he acted like I just made his day
I can't really be sure.
But I can tell you one thing.
He made mine.
I walked into the old bread store
bought my two cheap loaves
and when I came out. He was gone.
Magic, amazing moments in this life.
They are just everywhere.