I do not know his name.
He had the most beautiful smile, but I do not know his name.
I noticed him before the concert began, he spoke softly and kindly to the people with him. He smiled and chuckled with the pretty theatre attendant when she asked to see their tickets before escorting them to the elevator.
During the concert he removed his worn, faded baseball cap, and listened intently. A gentle smile occasionally wrinkled his cheeks. Warm, kind eyes in a lovely face that bespoke a lovelier soul. His button up shirt was plaid and neatly tucked into his pressed jeans. His wheel-chair was there, but he proudly got to his seat with only a cane.
I approached his small party of three after the concert, determined to say something.
“Hello, I’m sorry to bother you, but I saw your hat. I just wanted to thank you for your service. I really appreciate it.”
I watched as he registered my words.
His wrinkled, life worn cheeks lifted in a beautiful smile and he took my hand in both of his frail ones. His hands were soft and warm. His milky blue eyes met my clear blue and he squeezed my hand a little tighter.
“I served on a destroyer in the Pacific.”
“I just had to come say thank you. It means so much to me.”
“Oh no. Thank you for coming over. You have a lovely smile. You really love music don’t you?”
The two people with him, perhaps a son or daughter with their spouse joined then and we briefly spoke about my love of live music. I had been smiling and moving with the music in my seat. I explained that my mother had taken me to concerts from the time I was little and that I had played piano. His eyes lit.
“I played piano and organ when I was younger! I still have a keyboard.”
He was so excited. It filled my heart with so much joy to see his eyes sparkle like that. He still plays a little. We spoke a little about their trip here to Norway and then we parted ways.
I do not know his name but I will always remember him.
A smiling man with a twinkle in his eye. A man who served on a destroyer in the Pacific Ocean during World War II. A man I will never forget, who lived a long life, with a kind smile, a love of music and quiet, thoughtful pride.
An unforgettable memory from a beautiful afternoon with a String Quartet.