A Hero within a Hero

Two strangers meet at the concession stand at the movies.

A conversation is struck up- by none other than…. me. I guess I have been in the “let’s strike up conversations with perfect strangers zone this week.” How did this one pay off? SO glad you asked.

I was waiting in line to place my order. Tate and Marshall were already in the theater saving a seat for me. We were gearing up to go see Cars 2… (get it…gearing up, ah, never mind.)

Back to the concession stand. The line was painfully slow. A gentleman stood in front of me then slightly moved over to the side. Instinctively I shuffled forward. Then I realized that it looked like I was trying to cut the guy off.

He looked at me right at the moment realization hit.

“I’m so sorry!” I said, stepping backwards.

“No, no..go ahead. I’ve already ordered. I am just waiting on my chicken tenders to finish cooking.”
Curious, I said “Are the tenders good here?” I meant it.

The line was still stifled. We kept talking. He quenched my inquisitiveness about the chicken.

“They’re not too bad. I just take a nibble then pass them on to my wife and son.” I was quiet. He kept talking.

“I had gastric bypass surgery a year ago and now I am pretty limited to what I eat.” I smiled back at him, nodding.

“I totally understand. I am having major digestive issues right now, my dr has me on crazy dietary restrictions.”

We both glanced around at the glass cases filled with candy, soft drinks and junk food.

I continued, “Actually, other than bottled water- there is NOTHING here I can have.”

He raised his eyebrows. “Seriously? Not even vitamin water?”

“Nope, nothing with chemicals.- to be honest I have a bag of blueberries in my purse to snack on during the movie”

He laughed then said-

“Last year I weighed 525 pounds. That’s why I decided to have the gastric bypass. I’ve lost 300 pounds”

“WOW! That’s AWESOME! Congratulations!”

He went on. “Yeah, I was actually paralyzed in a wheelchair because of my weight, my hips couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t walk. I actually had to go on my honeymoon in a wheelchair.”

I kept silent, inspired, but silent.

“My brother came home from Kuwait. He had been serving overseas. He looked at me sitting there in my wheelchair, feeling sorry for myself. Then he said- Dude! I am overseas putting my life on the line fighting for our country. Look at you- what are you fighting for? That really struck me straight in the heart you know. I needed to start fighting for my life back, for not only me, but for my wife and son.”

“Wow. Your brother sounds like not only a hero to our country, but to you as well.- A hero within a hero.”

I was next in line at the concession counter. His chicken tenders were done.

He leaned in and said “Now that I’ve lost the weight, I’m ready to take my wife on a real honeymoon. I promised her a REAL honeymoon!”

“I think that’s a wonderful plan.” I smiled. He smiled.

“May I take your order”- the attendant asked from behind the candy laden glass cases. I turned back and glanced at him.

“Congrats again! Enjoy the movie” I said, as I turned back to finally place my order.

“You too!” I heard him say as he walked away to join back up with his family.

This really touched my heart and I felt God whisper into my ear. “I am with you, always.”

I needed to hear this. With all of the current storms going on with my health- I find days that I get down, afraid and sometimes angry.  Once again, God sent a perfect stranger to show me sometimes the things we have to fight for are for more than just me….

For the record- try striking up a conversation with a perfect stranger- you never know where it may lead.


IF you have had a recent unexpected conversation that sparked something inside that encouraged you – I would love to hear about it.

Until next time,

See ya on the Random Side,

Aj Luck

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