My mom and oldest-sister-at-home were gone on a trip. There were no groceries. And Dad had the day off. So he took us out for breakfast! 😀
We all filed into the busy restaurant and lined up against the wall as Dad secured a table. The shocked reaction to “party of 7” gave me the giggles. XD
Is “what does the Bible have to say about slavery” a normal breakfast conversation? 😛 Pastor dads ask the toughest questions, but it’s great. 🙂 ❤ Lots of conversation, jokes, and telling Dad stories from the week while we waited for our food.
Even while trying to keep up with the witty conversation, shredding my straw wrapper, and snapping a few pictures to send to the mamsie and sistas– I was still able to notice. And I realized that many, many stories filled the room and as my eyes accidentally took them in they swirled around inside my head along with the things I was actually doing. There are three I want to share.
A waitress. She was blonde, confident, unsmiling.
My dad can make anyone and everyone smile. He makes a point of chatting up bored workers, soul-tired people, little kids —everywhere we go. Our waitress was brisk, stand-offish, and solemn, and he began to unconsciously work on that sad problem.
I found myself wondering about her story and noticing her- mannerisms, facial expressions- each time she reappeared to serve a table. She was good at her job, but not warm. I could almost see her lonely heart– it was throbbing dully, but she kept it chilly to stay ‘fine’ and distant. Maybe I’m too imaginative. 🙂 But as our funny, light-hearted group reached out to her again and again she grew more alive, more human.
We tried to take a group selfie, but it’s hard when the group is so big and no one’s arm is that long– I caught our waitress’s eyes laugh as she came out of the back. One of us had been missed on the silverware rounds, and we joked with the waitress “oh it’s ok, she can just use her straw”. Dad asked for her name like a friend- “I missed your name, what is it again?” and it made her happy that someone had noticed and cared she didn’t have a name tag on. And as we finished our meal, lingering a little to enjoy family-who-likes-each-other time together, our waitress smiled and laughed with us.
And whatever her story (I still can’t decide what it is 😉 ) I know that she was changed, just a little, because someone stopped to care and share their warmth to help thaw her heart.
An old man. He came in with his lady and sporting a hat with the words “Grandpa” stamped proudly across the front. No phone or newspaper appeared at their booth, they seemed to actually be enjoying each other’s company and knew how to truly enjoy a simple meal together. I saw the classy, elderly lady trying to silently mouth to the waitress “he’s not supposed to eat that” but in vain, and the man’s eyes sparkled mischievously as he ate the forbidden food. Those two have a darling story I’m certain; I wish I knew all of it!
The last person was a story himself. I had noticed him the moment I slid into my chair. Long, snowy white beard, worn face, a serious yet truly contented manner to him. Off in a corner booth by himself, he quietly ate his meal. And when he stood to leave a Golden Retriever service dog, loyal and perfectly trained, slipped from beneath the table to position beside him. I didn’t even know it was there. His story? Sir, thank you for your service to this country. Thank you for the countless sacrifices you have made and continue to make to keep us safe. I will never forget that.
We simply went out to breakfast, and I was immediately surrounded by stories. Heroes, the hurting, sweet lovers. There are stories everywhere we go, inside the eyes of every person we meet. Keep your eyes open, and you will see them too! ~A