a buck and change

Went for coffee yesterday morning. Eric was there as he is every dark early morning of the overnight shift. I spent a buck and change and got an earful in return. It started with my share of delight that I’ll be spending the holidays with my kids and grandkids in Florida. He smiled and teared up a little. I asked him his plans since we’ve been on a first name basis for over a year now. He has a grown daughter and granddaughter in L.A. he’d like to see but hasn’t in many years. No bad blood he’s aware of, just her disregard and disinterest in a very lonely dad and grandpa. He makes attempts to contact at any shred of opportunity, sends cards, gifts and cash on every occasion without acknowledgement. He is at a loss of what more to do but accept the loneliness despite how desperately he wants to give of himself.
There are lots of Erics out there this time of year while the rest of us are rejoicing and rejoining with loving families. The most I could do was a warm loaf of my banana blueberry nut bread left for him at the counter with a card that read: “In this world, Eric, we are all family. I enjoy spending a little part of each morning with you over coffee, my friend and brother. Merry Christmas.”
If you want to leave an unforgettable mark on someone’s life this Christmas, opportunities like this are right in front of you to take every day, for a buck and change.