Well, is there really such a thing?
A FREE LUNCH
Weren’t we all told that as we were growing up,
but maybe not growing
as quickly as the Some O N E
who told us to “GROW UP?”
“T H E R E ‘ S N O F R E E L U N C H , K I D D O!”
Probably true. . .
but what about a F R E E B R E A K F A S T?
I’ve known Hank for about six years;
Hmmmmm. . .know him?
I know his name is Hank.
I know that he meets for Breakfast Monday through Friday
at a Bob Evan’s with three other of his buddies. . .
I know that he likes the same waitress, Jody,
as about 6 other of us and we all sit in the same spots. . .
I know that he had recently lost a lot of weight
that he never really had to lose. . .
I know that he doesn’t eat much any more;
a cup of coffee and dry toast. . .
I know that he has cancer.
I know that he’s on Chemo.
I know there’s no free lunch,
but breakfast. . .
We all take turns including his coffee and dry toast into our bills
ever since Jody stopped charging him;
He makes jokes about not getting a free lunch,
but breakfast is another matter
and his favorite meal, too. . .
I’ve been thinking about Hank more than just the Tuesday’s I include his $1.79 into my bill. . .
I’ve been thinking
T H A T
is the only thing Hank gets for free;
He talks about his kids taking turns bringing him in for his treatments.
He speaks of his neighbors bringing over dinner several times a week.
He shares about how nephews take turns cutting his grass or shoveling the snow from his driveway.
What’s he ever pay for?
Well, not so much from his wallet,
maybe. . .
Hank gives great smiles
Hank gives warm hugs
Hank gives firm handshakes
Hank gives simple
H O P E
just by showing up every day;
“I don’t know if I’ll see my next birthday in January,” he raspily says.
“And. . . ,” I offer up.
“And. . .
that just means I’ll treat everyday like a Birthday,” he laughs.
“Besides with all of you, it’s kind of hard not to see it any other way.”
“Who knows how my story will end,”
he offers with a shrug of his shoulders and his arms stretched out, palms up?
Who indeed. . .
But I kind of like how
Hank’s story has now become a part of the pages
of my own story without his ink,
pen or pages;
just his gentle,
He becomes even more iconic
n o w. . .
Hank died a few weeks ago
and meals will no longer take on the meaning for him
as they D O
or even as they once
d i d
A free lunch?
Maybe not. . .
but for a buck-79,
it’s about as priceless as it gets. . .
and a cup of coffee has never tasted better;
Where’s the Hank you’ll get to meet. . .
or have you already?
Go meet him
a g a i n