A Missed Opportunity
Yesterday I was sitting in the waiting room at the Chiropractor’s office flipping through the newspaper.
A man walked in. He was a big guy, obviously uncomfortable in his walk, and he never looked in my direction. He didn’t look particularly friendly, and at first glance I thought he was wearing a biker jacket with a local bike “gang” logo on the back. (This local “gang” goes to Little League games to loudly and boisterously cheer on their team, to give you a quick idea of the type of gang I’m speaking of.) However, he took his jacket off and hung it on the rack, so I chanced a glance at it. What I had originally thought was a gang logo, was actually a Combat Veteran logo. It was decorated all over with medals and tags, and he had obviously worn that jacket proudly for years.
I wanted to approach him and say, “Thank you.” I almost did…I was working up the nerve to cross the room toward this man who did not invite conversational banter simply by his body language, in order to introduce myself and say, “Thank you for all you’ve done. I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow on Veteran’s Day.” But then I was called back to my room, and I left him sitting in the still silent waiting room, having said not a word.
I have thought about him since yesterday, and wish I could have a do-over. I’m sure he wasn’t as intimidating as he looked, and I’m also quite certain that, had I initiated a conversation, he might have even smiled a bit.
I hope I run into him again next week. I will not be quite so shy about speaking up.
Thinking of and thanking all of our Veterans today. If you happen to run into one, speak up like I didn’t.