I dropped off my wife at the doctor’s office, directly across the street from the Allenmore Golf Course. While I waited, I drove over about two blocks and went into the Dollar Tree. I had just enough change for two packs of beef jerky and a bottle of pop. I didn’t want to just eat my jerky in the parking lot with people walking by me, I wanted something more peaceful. I drove back around the main street and parked by a tree in the parking lot, by the sidewalk and just across the street from the doctor’s office.
While sitting in my car with the window rolled down I was approached by a thirty-ish black man. I just held my hand to stop him from asking and said, “Sorry, I have no money.” He just smiled and shrugged his shoulders and remarked “I’ll give you something.” He walked up to my car window and tied a thick black shoe lace with two red beads on it around my wrist. The beads seemed to be crawling. I looked at my wrist, smiled and remarked “Do you have one for my wife?” He looked pained and shook his head . . . “If I had only known. Yours is the last one I have today.” I nodded and asked, have you given a whole bunch away today already?” He, said, “No. I’m applying for a job.” “In that jacket?” I asked. He frowned and said, “I know.” I had struck a blow and felt bad. “Dammit!” And then my mind took over. I got out of my Chrysler Pacifica and motioned for him to follow me. I opened up the back end. As the door raised up so did my morning friend’s face. “My wife and I are on our way to a friend’s house. He distributes clothes to homeless people. He works with a friend of mine at St. Vinnies. My new friend was almost beaming and then his eyes caught the black suit coat laid over the backseat. “Would you like that Brooks Brother’s suit coat?” His mouth opened but no words came out. He simply nodded. I walked around to the other side of the car and brought the coat back to him.
He put it on . . . “Oh, my,” was all he said. I responded, “It’s yours.” I thought he was going to cry. “I’ll bring it right back.” I said,”No need. I bought it at Goodwill. My granddaughter was getting married and I needed a jacket that fit. I had lost some weight. The jacket fit me perfectly just like it does on you. The wedding was outside and it was too hot to wear the coat, so I’ll just pass it on and wish you luck.” We said good bye and I went to pick up my wife as my new friend went to get his job.
We all have sad days. I keep the black shoelace cord bracelet on my rearview mirror. Whenever I feel down, I look at the mirror and the bracelet and some how I know the day will be okay.