Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Breakfast I'll Never Forget ...

It was early one morning at the Train Station/Bus Station on Hastings in Vancouver ... I had just dropped a friend off to catch his bus home, and was heading back out to my van when a gentleman whom I assume was homeless, or atleast economically challenged approached me and said:

"Some spare change so I can get some breakfast?"

I stopped and looked into his face and said with a smile, "I won't give you change, but if you need breakfast I would be happy to buy whatever you want from the restaurant inside." I motioned to the McD's franchise just inside the door.

"Really?" came a surprised reply as the extended hand was withdrawn.

"Really," I said still smiling, "what would you like?"

He thought for a moment, then answered, "I would love a sausage and egg McMuffin with hashbrowns and a coffee with cream and sugar."

"Just one?" I asked.

"I don't want to be a pig," he said looking down and whispering.

"Two it is," I replied, "would you like an orange juice to go with it?"

He nodded as I turned and went in and bought two sausage and egg McMuffins, hashbrowns, an extra large coffee and a large orange juice and carried it back out to the gentleman who was waiting by the bench in front of the entrance way.

When I returned he had been joined by a friend and the two of them were talking excitedly. The first gentleman turned to me and apologized saying he was going to share his breakfast with his friend because they both were pretty hungry.

I handed the first man his breakfast and said, "You don't have to share," as I asked his friend what he would like.

The second man said, "Just an egg McMuffin would be fine."

"I'll get you the same as your friend," I said, "How do you take you coffee?"

When I came back with the second breakfast the two men settled in on the grass not far from the Memorial to the victims at Polytechnique, and happily enjoyed thier bounty. As I turned to head to my van they both looked up and smiled and said "Thank you."

I smiled back and said, "NO, Thank you for letting me do this ..."

I was out less than 12 dollars, but for a brief moment in the sunshine of a summer morning, two men feasted like kings and made me feel like I had done something worthwhile ... the smiles of contentment they shared with me and each other meant more to me than I can even describe ...

1 comment:

shauna said...

What a beautiful thing! It's an amazing feeling to help others, and to be helped when you most need it yourself. I've been on the receiving end so much lately that just last week I said, "It's time to return the favor" and started to look for ways to reach out to others. I made dinner for two families and volunteered to teach a class on Sunday because the woman's child was sick. It felt terrific! As great as it feels to have someone help you out I believe it feels 10x's better to help someone else. A great post! A great reminder!