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No Mulligans in Life

Updated on February 3, 2010

Somethimes You Wish There Were Do Overs in Life

I came to understand this when my wife and I recently sat down one evening at our favorite Mexican Restaurant. We were quite excited as we had just come from our grandson’s basketball game where he had shot four three point baskets in a row and it had us very pumped up. An older man in a booth to the right of my table made a few comments about how he liked the food quality here. He seemed to be trying to start a conversation. While we were polite to him, we didn’t engage any meaningful dialogue. We just agreed on the food and resumed our own conversation.

We each received our meals and my wife and I continued talking to each other. At the end of the meal the man got up and started apologizing for talking to us. With tears beginning to form, he said he was terribly lonely since his wife had died. He explained she had Alzheimer and died in his arms about a year ago. We expressed our sorrow for his loss.

I guess it took us by surprise and after thinking back we could have eased his pain by inviting him to set for a little time with us but we didn’t. We both regret that now.

I look back and wished we had made more of an effort to engage this person. Eating alone is a lonely thing for anyone, especially for older people. Many have very interesting stories if we just take a little bit of time with them. In this case, we just did not understand that his attempt at conversation was to alleviate his loneliness.

I have pledge to have a better awareness and take time when I can. A few moments of my time seems to be a small price to help someone feel they still have a life.


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