We found him at the end of the hallway near the front door fully engaged in a conversation with a man we had never seen before.
The man, Charles later said, had simply held the door open for him. After Charles said thank you, the man complimented him on having good manners. Charles added that the man told him that his parents did a good job raising him.
The man remained, waiting for my husband and me to also walk through the open door.
As I approached, I noticed the man’s kind face and bright eyes. After saying thank you, I told the man to have a good evening.
With a smile on his face, the man, who mentioned he was a former Marine, contentedly said the following: “I will have a good evening. I will have a good tomorrow. And if I don’t, ma’m, it’s my own fault.”
As often happens in life, there are fleeting moments of time, seconds really, when we encounter a complete stranger who offers words of wisdom, who has something important to say.
“And if I don’t, ma’m, it’s my own fault,” the words reverberated.
If we are listening, the words make us take note, make us stand up a little taller, and afford us the opportunity to reflect for just a wee bit. We are, in short, given a gift. These rich moments are somehow absorbed into our being. They enhance our lives and alter our outlook.
Such was the outcome after the brief conversation, an interlude, if you will, with the man standing by the door at the oldest Moose Lodge in the world, a place almost forgotten, on a balmy spring night in Frankfort.
Alvia Lewis Frey is a columnist for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.