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Stranger Notices Old Man With Flowers In Kroger, Fights Tears When He Hears His Story.

“Sometimes in life all we really need to do is to listen to someone, and genuinely care about what they are saying to us,” wrote Gregory R. Johnson of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Gregory’s revelation hit him in an unlikely place: a Kroger’s supermarket he’d popped into to pick up a few things before the big Major League Baseball All Star game he planned to watch. As he’d stood in line at the deli counter, he noticed an elderly man in an electric scooter near by. In the basket of the man’s cart were a gorgeous bouquet of red roses and a birthday cake.


“It looks like you’ve got a big night planned!” Gregory exclaimed, and he was taken aback when the man turned and looked at him with the saddest eyes he’d ever seen.

“His wife had died 5 years ago and her birthday was today and he had bought roses and a cake for her every year since she had passed away. He would put the roses on the table when he got home and cut them both a piece of birthday cake. You know how there are moments in life where it literally feels as if your heart is breaking in two as tears attempt to flood your eyes? He was trying not to cry any more than he had been. I put my hand on his shoulder and tried to comfort him and his broken heart. And he started talking.”

The man, whose name is Jim, explained that he’d met his wife, Gloria, when they were teenagers attending different high schools. Jim was a basketball player and Gloria was a cheerleader, and a friend had introduced them. When Jim’s team beat Gloria’s team in the sectional semi-finals, he asked her if she’d come root for his team the following night.

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Gloria “read him the riot act” and told him she’d never root for any school but her own. Further, she had better things to do than watch him play!

“Jim said she was a firecracker and grabbed her jacket and her girlfriends and they stormed out of that gymnasium. And he said to himself, ‘Well that’s probably the last time I’ll ever see that cute little girl.’ To make a long story short , she showed up the next night by herself to watch Jim’s game. His team won the Sectional Championship and Gloria waited around after the game to congratulate Jim. And they were together from that day on.”

Jim and Gloria had been happily married for 53 years.

Gregory was enthralled by Jim’s love story, and they ended up chatting at the meat counter for an hour. He felt in his heart that Jim just needed someone to talk to, and as he shared his stories about his life with Gloria, Gregory could see the joy returning to the old man’s face.

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“By now our conversation had lasted for perhaps an hour and I was somewhat in a hurry to get home to watch the Major League All Star game. But there was no way I was cutting this visit short over a silly baseball game. Jim needed a friend to talk to… and ultimately I guess I did as well! Life is all about connecting with others and perhaps finding a way to make their day a little bit brighter. And in so doing it usually makes ours better as well.

Soon, the store manager approached them and took a picture of Jim for their bulletin board. Every year, the store takes Jim’s picture to honor Gloria’s birthday. This year, the manager even insisted on including Gregory in the memory.


Gregory felt amazing that just a simple conversation had lifted Jim’s spirits so much. He could sense a change in his entire demeanor; he was now smiling and recalling his memories of Gloria with fondness rather than sadness. Eager to get home and catch at least a bit of the baseball game, Gregory wrapped up the conversation and the men shook hands. Then, Jim asked him a question that stopped him in his tracks.

“Would you have a few minutes to stop by and have a piece of cake with me as I put Gloria’s roses in their usual place on my kitchen table?”

Gregory was overwhelmed, feeling goosebumps spring up all over his body.

“I simply looked at him and told him I’d be honored to sit at his table and have a piece of cake with him in remembrance of his wife! The simplest acts can sometimes give you the greatest satisfaction. Baseball game? There will be another. It no longer was important. Hopefully I made this little old man’s night a tad bit better, because he certainly made mine one of the best I’ve had in a long time!”

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Gregory’s kindness is an important lesson for us all. Just engaging someone in a conversation can sometimes have a life changing effect for all involved!

Please share this message and remember, sometimes just listening is a priceless gift for those who need a friend.

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