For four years as I’ve driven down a road in my area, I’ve been the happy recipient of a giant smile and friendly wave.
It took me a while to figure out what was going on. To be honest I assumed I was mistaken for someone else. Not until I was out running one day did I realize that this sweet older man, wearing his large brimmed hat, waves and smiles at EVERY car that passes him.
There’s no schedule to his appearance. He walks in the early morning hours to late afternoon, but his gait and hat are distinguishable as you approach.
I look forward to seeing him. I wonder about him and who he is and what his story is.
I’ve discovered over the four years I’ve received and returned his gesture of friendliness how much I look forward to seeing him. When I realize I’ve missed him for a few days, I can’t help but feel a bit like I missed out and hope he is well.
While his identity is a mystery, I’ve developed a sense of defensiveness and sadness when I see him waving and smiling at other cars and they simply ignore him.
While our daily schedules have such a great range of inconsistency, what is so wonderful is that I seem to see him on days when I can use the giant smile and warm wave the most. It always amazes me how no matter my level of stress and chaos, his simple expression lightens the load.
So thank you Mr. Giant Smile and Friendly Wave. You are a treasure and I appreciate the simple expressions of kindness you continue to extol.
His name is Lloyd. He is a retired trucker and lives with his wife. He says his wife shoos him out of her hair so he takes off early in the morning and usually walks to the BP station where he sits and reads all the papers and visits with people. Then he walks back home several hours later. I first met Lloyd when I was working and would stop every morning at the BP for a cup of coffee on my way to work. He always smiled at me and soon we were exchanging pleasantries. While I don’t see him every morning anymore, when I do see him, he remembers me and waves back. Sometimes, he even walks all the way to Publix. I’ve seen him sitting in the little restaurant there a few times.
I had someone like that it my life at one point…When I used to go down to Grady for work several years ago there was a man in a wheelchair who used to walk me from the parking lot to the hospital….no matter what the weather, he would be at the corner neat the Sweet Auburn Curb Market. When I’d get out of my car, he’s be nowhere in sight and then out of nowhere, I’d hear him calling “Hi, Ma’am” and his chair zipping over.
Over the course of 3 years, I learned more and more about him by puttng pieces together from things he would tell me and things the man who owned the lot would tell me. Truly heartbreaking.
I will never, ever forget the day he brought me a coke when I was pregnant with Paige. I was so conflicted because I knew he had so very little and I couldn’t imagine taking anything from him but I was so touched that he would buy me a coke. I knew it would hurt his feelings if I didn’t take it, and the smile on his face was pricelss when he gave it to me.
Whenever more than 2 or 3 days went by without him being out and about, I would worry about him. It’s probably been 3 years now since I last saw him and I’m ashamed I can’t remember his name.
Thanks for reminding me of him!
This story is wonderful! Thank you for sharing it and it make me teary eyed. Best to you!
We need more people in the world like this!!!! BRAVO to him!
That’s great! I know watcha mean tho, when I drive by someone and they wave I think they have me mistaken for someone else…lol…but still smile and wave back! It’s sweet how something so simple can really make a persons day better though isn’t it? We should all try to do something nice like this on a daily basis! The world could be a friendlier place if we did!
In a world that is becoming more and more frenetic and anonymous, what joy to be greeted and smiled at. I agree with Mary. I want to be that person for others!
That is awesome! I want to be that person for others. I think I’ll try doing something similar in my area of the woods.