Today we were in Nordstrom downtown. Justin wanted a new pair of shoes. We'd wandered around the shoe department, looking at the full price and the sale rack. No one had come up to us but after a while, a sweet older man about seventy named Jeff came over to see if we needed any help. He showed us a few different shoes and was patient as Justin mulled over the two shoes that he was deciding between.
Justin had told him that I was an optometrist. Jeff said his wife was just diagnosed with glaucoma and also had macular degeneration. I said it would be ok, that she would probably just need drops, and good thing that he had good eyes. He said, "I lose a little more vision every year." I hoped it wasn't too much.
Meanwhile, Justin was still trying to decide. Jeff liked one pair better, I liked the other. Jeff said, "You have to go with what is in your heart." And gestured toward his heart with his fist. He said, "You can never go wrong when you say what you feel and speak from the heart." I agreed.
Finally Justin decided on the pair I liked better. It was a little more dressy than the other pair. We were finished and he rang up the shoes and some suede protector and we were off. There was something inherently sweet and sad about the encounter. He was such a kind man. I left feeling we had a special encounter with a patient man, and yet couldn't help but worry if he was okay. He said he'd only worked there three years. I wished him well for everything with his wife as we left. It was the kind of service you don't get a lot these days. It was really special.