Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Special Moment in Time That I Cherish

Several years ago when I lived in the Bay area, I was at a fast food restaurant in line to order food where there was a homeless man in line and everyone was keeping a wide berth around him because he was talking to himself and acting strange. I remember feeling slightly alarmed, because my young children were with me, but kept my place in line. He ordered his coffee and went and sat down at a table next to the entrance door. When I ordered, I got an extra meal to give him. I went over to him and as I put the food on the table, I touched his hand and said "this is for you" and he accepted. I sat at the table on the opposite side of the door but couldn't see him because there was a tall trash can between us. I remember vividly how he looked when he raised up in his chair and I saw him peek just over the top of the trash can, his hair was long and wild looking and he flashed me the most beautiful, toothless grin I've ever seen in my life, but more than anything, the steel blue color of his eyes has always stayed with me. I remember feeling like God had just gazed upon me through those eyes, the feeling was overwhelming.

After that day, I searched for him on many occasions and after some time had gone by, I finally caught up with him at nearby shopping center. I asked him if I could buy him lunch and we ended up having something from the ice cream shop (his choice) and talked a little. I found out that he liked going into a gift shop at the shopping center so I went there later and the shop owner said she was familiar with him, so I left some money with her and asked her to let him pick something out the next time he came in. At a later date when I checked back, she said he had picked a "King Frog" ceramic item that he liked. I found this kind of bizarre and touching at the same time, to think of him in that foo-foo store picking out his King Frog. I have an adorable metal King Frog of my own that ironically reminds me of the day that I felt like I was looking into the eyes of God. Although he will never know how special of an experience it was for me to have met him, I cherish it and will never forget it.


  1. What a wonderful memory to have, Tele. Too often we tend to be embarrassed when we see those less fortunate in places we frequent. It's nice to be reminded that they're people just like us, who could do with a little kindness and a helping hand. That is, after all, what's supposed to make us human.

    Thanks for sharing your story.


  2. Thank you for your kind comments Tanveer. Your story inspired me to share my own and was a reminder of that special moment in time :) ~Tele

  3. Tele,
    Thanks for sharing. What a beautiful experience! You're an amazing person. I think the greatest reward for doing something for someone is a smile. And yet so many people can't be bothered. You went the extra 10 miles! And you know he remembers you.

  4. Thank you Donna. I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my post. I don't know that he remembers me but the fact that I still remember him speaks for the shows that, in the end, I took away far more than I gave from that experience. :) ~Tele

  5. Donna,
    You never know who those people are or where they have come from. Just this past week my kids and I were going thru Jack in the Box. The kids wanted those french toast sticks. I got an extra one for the homeless man on the corner as I drove thru. I gave it to him and had my daughter say a little prayer for him. I am not one for giving money to the folks on the corner but I do try to keep stock in my garage of a few plastic bags. Each include a bottle of water, granola bar, shampoo, toothbrush/paste tissue etc.. I hand one out to anyone I see on the corner then have one of my kids say a short prayer for that person.
    I love your story and its a great example you show your compassion in front of your children.

  6. What a beautiful story Tele! Somehow I knew you were going to buy him a meal before I even read it.....it's that gentle heart of yours!!

    You never know what that man has been through and I think it is wonderful that you were kind enough to do things to bring a smile to his face. I'm sure it is a moment in time that he cherishes as well!

    Hope ya'll are doing well!

  7. Thank you Jennifer :) One never know what a difference a seemingly small act of kindess can make for both the giver and receiver. But I don't need to preach to the choir! You and Paul are living examples of true goodness. Love you all! ~Tele

    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." ~Plato

  8. I love this story Tele! I read it when we first met, and after you commented on Facebook, I read the story again. It is quite touching and I am sure that the experience was mutually powerful! My favorite part was that you touched his hand. I know how you feel about touch and I'm sure that gentleman will never forget you because of your gift of healing! Thank you for sharing this with me again! You truly are an inspiration! ~Christine