Friday, January 29, 2010

The Old Man at Michaels

First, a confession must be made. I really am not a fan of old people. At least I haven't been in the past. Since my sweet Papo passed away a couple years ago that has changed for me but normally I would do what I could to avoid them. They are slow, go on and on about things and really just take too much time.

The last few weeks of my Papo's life I got to spend quite a bit of time with him. He, sadly, was not completely aware of my presence but the moments he was aware it was a sweet time.

After that, because I think I miss him, I found that old people weren't that much of a bother and probably someone's grandmother or grandfather.

Now to the story of The Old Man at Michaels.

On my way home the other day I decided to run into Michaels to purchase supplies to make my mom's birthday gift. I only had a few minutes because the kids were at home and it was almost time for Jackson's pre-school to start. Lunches needed to be made and he needed to get dressed all before 12:30. I walked over to the scrapbook section and there I saw an old man looking at letter stickers. It looked as if his wife had sent him into the store to buy some letters for her. He looked overwhelmed and confused at the number of stickers available for purchase. I remember thinking, don't go down that aisle or he'll ask you a ton of questions. So I tried to avoid it as much as I could. Finally, after all my shopping was done he was still there in the same spot still looking confused. So as I walked down the aisle I walked past him and said something like, "Lots to choose from". Of course, he immediately started talking to me. He told me of his project to make a sign for the Pikes Peak Grille off of Garden of the Gods. He said, pointing to his black hat, that they helped WWII/Korea Vets with lunches on Tuesdays. His hat showed that he himself was a WWII and Korean Veteran and it was obvious he was proud about that fact.

He proceeded to show me a picture of himself in a uniform and his National WWII Memorial official card. He told me he spoke at TCA's annual Veteran program and that he was helping the General at Ft. Carson with the Korean Memorial on post. He said that the General was from the Phillipines and that in 1945 when he was stationed in the Phillipines he helped rescue a POW camp. The General was born in 1947 in the Phillipines and said that his father was one of the prisoners this old man had rescued. He cried and cried as he told me. He reminded me so much of my Papo I could hardly believe it. He hangs out at Peaks Grille. We're going to go there for sure to find him and see if he is lonely or if he has a family. I can't remember his name because I'm absolutely horrible at that.

It was a blessed moment that I will remember for the rest of my life.

1 comment:

Pinky said...

"There are no coincidences", I truly believe that. That man was there in Michaels for a reason, and you approached him for a eason too. Maybe your Papo was speaking to you....