The Man that Waves
For years, as I pull out of my subdivision and drive down the main street passed the elementary school, a man with shoulder length silver hair, aged skin that appears to have been exposed to many years of sun and his back slumped slightly over walks along the side of the busy street and waves excitedly as I drive past. He does not just wave at me but he waves at every car that drives past. I always wave back and have wondered over the years about this man, who he is, where he might live and why he always waves at everyone when they drive past him. Our family knows him as "the man who waves".
He is extremely dedicated in his attempt to acknowledge you and your vehicle as he has never once failed to forget me as I drive by. Some days as I see him in the distance up the road, I think, "I better get ready to wave", "I want to make sure he sees me wave back at him", ‘I don't want to hurt his feelings".
In the beginning I thought to myself "this man must be crazy", "I am not waving back at him" but as years passed I became familiar with this man and his momentous waves that eventually grew on me until I started to wave back and have done so for sometime now.
I believe in life all things happen for a reason and today something happened to me for a reason. My two girlfriends and I met for breakfast at our favorite restaurant at the end of the main street passed the elementary school. My friend and I tucked into a quiet booth beside the bar stools for those who may want to sit alone. There sitting slightly slumped over at one of those bar stool seats was an older gentlemen with shoulder length silver hair, aged skin that appeared to be exposed to many years of sun, quietly reading the newspaper.
My friend, looking over at the gentlemen asked me "Do you know Jack"? I said "no, but he is the man who waves right"? She responded "yes he is". My friend proceeded to tell me all she knew about Jack. It turns out Jack is her neighbor. He has a huge garden he tends to and stops by her house often sharing his vegetables with her. He comes by on trash day and kindly brings her trash can up from the bottom of the driveway so she does not have to walk down and get it. She described how very protective and observant he is as he notices when strange cars drive by (I would hope so) and will let my friend know if he sees something strange going on. "He is the kindest man" she said "and sometimes I will pick him up on that main street by the school and give him a lift home".
As I sit and listen to her describe the man that waves, I am intrigued to finally know some history behind that long silver hair and sun baked skin. Although my friend did not know his life story she does know that he lives alone and walks everywhere he goes.
My friends and I talked a while about the man that waves along with other things going on in our lives as we enjoyed our delicious breakfast. Near the end of our breakfast our waitress comes to refill our drinks and points over to Jack and says "that gentleman over there has paid for your breakfast". I am shocked, my friend not so much as Jack is always doing something nice for her. We look over and there he still sits quietly finishing his own breakfast alone. I am taken back at this point. How gracious of a man to secretly pay for our breakfast without any interaction with him. Had the waitress not told us until we asked for our bill, he would have left never expecting a thank you.
My friend asked Jack to come to our table at which time all three of us expressed our gratitude. He left the restaurant and we again talked about the man that waves and how kind and generous he was for paying for our breakfast.
I continued to think about Jack throughout the day and how I wished there was something I could do for him to thank him not just for breakfast but for all the times over the years he has waved at me as I drove by. I will see Jack again and when I do I will surely wave at him and probably roll my window down and scream out "Hi Jack" because now I know the man that waves is not just a man that waves to those who pass by, he is Jack, a thoughtful, caring soul that kindly likes to do for others and in return only ask that you wave back at him when you drive by and see him wave as he walks down the main street passed the elementary school.
1Let brotherly love continue.
2Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.