As I walked the downtown streets of Philadelphia, I felt a slight imperfection in my step, a limp of sorts. It then occurred to me that my balance may be a little off this morning, which has happened from time to time. I would agree that a lot of my ailments literally and figuratively are apart of aging, not gracefully I suppose. I laugh at the thoughts I have in my head as if someone where listening. I surmounted that this would have to be the right amount of incentive needed to start working out for better health, and to shed a few added pounds. In the moments passing through the sentiments in my head, I realize that I am standing at the corner of a green light, turned red. The indecisiveness the drivers have on their faces is understandable, because I was waiting to cross the street. For no reasons other than the fact that I was in deep thought, caused me to pause for the conversation in my head.
With my trance broken, I decided to turn around and enter this little diner on the corner instead of crossing the street. Upon entering the diner, I silently wondered what was on the menu, and realized a simple breakfast sandwich would do, and I’m sure they had that. With curiosity no longer a factor I motioned towards the counter, ordering a turkey, bacon, egg and cheese with mayo on wheat toast. For a moment the lady behind the counter looked at me with questioning eyes, until she finally asked, did you say with mayo? I assured her that I did, and with that being said she called my order back to the cook. I have since ignored the surprising glances that I get when ordering a breakfast sandwich with mayonnaise, thus being the habit passed down from my mother’s mother. I decided to sit in and have my breakfast there, while sharing in my favorite past time, “People” watching. A man in a sky blue shirt and tie opened the door to the diner, just as a young mother chased her run away toddler past the threshold. The man being startled by the intrusion wrestled to the side, as the mother brushed by him apologetically grabbing the child by the hand. As he reached the counter I could see that he was somewhat annoyed. He went on to order, black coffee with no sugar. I could only imagine what kind of morning would warrant black coffee, no sugar, and a large cup to contain it. But with no facts on the circumstances of his life, guessing would prove to be a mindless task lacking importance.
The lady behind the counter gestured that my order was ready. I picked up my sandwich and proceeded to sit back at the table, when I noticed an older gentleman enter the door with his arm bandaged in a cast past his elbow. He had a brief case in his good hand, which was somewhat strange to see. I thought for a second that he may have gotten injured that day for sure, because who would work in such a condition? I pretended not to notice that once he left the counter, he headed straight for my table. I could see the shadow of his image getting closer and closer, until his voice forced me to acknowledge his presence. He asked if he could sit down, I told him sure, feel free. I looked uncomfortably from side to side noticing that there were other seats available, so why did he choose the table I was occupying? As strange as this man siting at my table was, the word Purpose came to my mind. And how everything in life has a purpose whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. The man started to speak and it began to shed light on his semi intrusion. Gary as he informed me his name was, told me that he was in town for business. He flew in from Columbus, Ohio this morning. As the conversation matured, I asked him why didn’t he reschedule his meeting being that he looked to be in bad shape. I was told that he scheduled this meeting so far in advanced and that he couldn’t afford not to make it, being that his business depended on it. I found myself woven in the details of his plight and went back to the word in my head..Purpose. I sat there searching his wanting eyes for some sign of hope that after his meeting things would miraculously fall into place for my new found friend, yet Gary confirmed his weariness in his next sentence. He went on to say that he had been chasing dreams all of his life and it’s about time to give it up. I dared not guess his age for fear of offending him, just as life had. In the midst of his reflection, I saw so many of my own loved ones struggles and fading dreams….The word surfaced again in my head, this time acknowledging the Purpose of my own life, reflecting on the day I started living and burying “barely surviving” in the grave. I wished wholeheartedly for some words to give to my weary friend and decided to give him the quote that breathed a sigh of relief in my aching soul, “A man is not old until his regrets take the place of his dreams” -John Barrymoore. With that being revealed to me some years ago, I told Gary that I began, “Living on Purpose” , and you can too!