Smoke And Mirrors
She didn’t want to acknowledge him but she had to. She stared at the young man with striking eyes. He stood taller than her with his headset pressed against the light of the ceiling. Was she looking at a halo.
She was beguiled, She tried to catch her breath and calm herself down, she had a suspicion of who he was, but could it be true?
Eleanor Baker is 80-years-old. She decided that she wanted dinner, it was the first time she was coming to a restaurant since her husband had passed away. She would be dining alone tonight in Brad’s Bar-B-Que in Oxford, Alabama.
She had mustered enough courage to go through the door alone, now she would dine alone and contemplate her sadness. At least the restaurant was having an all-you-can-eat special. But she would soon find out she wouldn’t get that.
Three people had noticed her going in, they decided that they would follow in while she hadn’t noticed them.
She had just sat down at a small table and she knew it would be her sanctuary for the next hour. She put her bag down on the seat next to her and went over to put some food on her plate. Her husband would have warned her about leaving her things like he had so many times before, but he was gone now.
A Love Lost
There was a lot of food for her to eat, and she found a lot that she liked. She also got the food her husband used to love, it was a habit of hers. She had spent most of her life with him and wanted to try to hang on to anything that reminded her of him.
She wasn’t in any hurry, she wanted to savor this experience, the first without her husband. She just wanted to break out of the same routine that she had kept to since her husband had passed.
The three men who followed her in had positioned themselves at a table near Eleanor’s. They looked at what she had left at the table and made sure no one else was watching them.
They didn’t take their eyes off of her bag. Eleanor sat back down with her food and they became agitated. He couldn’t help himself. He had to tell her, but what was he going to tell her?
When she sat back down she noticed the items that she had left at her table. She let out a smile and thought of her husband scolding her for being so forgetful. It had only gotten worse since then.
But then she remembered that her husband would always watch her belongings when she orders. That was a bad habit now that he was gone.
She looked over at the seat across the table and noticed one of the three men staring at her. She didn’t pay it much mind, but then he rose up out of his chair and started making his way towards her.
She didn’t want to acknowledge his presence so she looked at her food. What did this man want? It didn’t look like he was going to give up so easily.
A Heavenly Sight
When he was a few feet from her she couldn’t help but look up at him, all she saw was his beautiful eyes and his headset glowing in the light. She couldn’t comprehend what she was looking at.
She swallowed some of her food with a gulp and continued to look at him. His face looked very familiar but from where?
She rearranged her meal so he would have room to sit down next to him. She couldn’t help but keep looking into his eyes, it was as if he had some universal knowledge that he was too young to have.
But she still felt a deeper connection with him. It was like she had met him before. Like he knew her his whole life. He said he’d be back but first he had to order some food for himself. Even the way he walked looked so reminiscent of something she knew.
A Big Family
He placed his order and after a bit of waiting, came back with some food. That’s when she realized something. She couldn’t help the tears streaming down her face. He then looked at her and asked about her husband.
She explained everything about him and how now she was a widow. And even though she still had a lot of family members, they didn’t live anywhere close to her so they never visited. But what was to come was nothing short of a miracle.
“It was a God thing,” she said, “I think God sent me there”. With his unusually clear and wise eyes, he told her not to worry about her husband. He told her he was missing her and waiting for her but happy so she should be too.
She crumbled, it was as if he was sent from the heavens. What was it before this? Why did he feel so familiar? Who was he?
A Kindred Spirit
The young man, Jamario Howard reminded Baker of her late husband. The food he ordered was all his favorites. The way he spoke, the way he walked, his friendly and caring demeanor as he asked her for a seat.
It was as if her husband or God was speaking through him to tell her it will be alright. But what was Howard’s story?
Howard was with his friends, a group of young men in their 20’s when he noticed Baker sitting alone. His heart ached at the lonely sight and he decided to do something about it.
“He just came up, and he said ‘I saw you sitting over here alone’ and he said ‘do you mind having some company?’” Baker said.
Joy And Comfort
Baker was delighted to have his company and even more so when his friends joined. She hadn’t connected with someone like that since her husband passed away.
Baker still considers him her savior during a crucial time of need. He gave her a reason to smile as well as a little bit of closure. Howard and his friends had a lot to say about her too.
A Better World
“When you make that kind of connection with somebody, it’s hard to let it go,” said one of his friends. They continue to meet up with Baker.
Howard explains why, “I’m not rich, I’m not famous, and I’m not very smart either, so I can’t be president. But we can show the world it’s alright to be kind. Then, before long, maybe the world will be a much better place.”