Life
Three young men befriend elderly woman eating alone
You never know what kinds of friends you'll meet.
Jaclyn Abergas
08.23.19

When Eleanor Baker walked into Brad’s Bar-B-Que in Oxford, Alabama that night, she had no idea her life would become very different from then on.

Eleanor Baker is an 80-year-old widow who lives alone with her dog. She has a big family but they live in other cities so she does most things by herself.

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That night, she wanted to eat at Brad’s Bar-B-Que. And, as with everything else she does, she ate there alone. It turns out it was the night before what was supposed to be her and her late husband’s 60th wedding anniversary.

Brad’s Bar-B-Que is a must-visit for any barbecue lover. Patrons describe it as heaven on earth.

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And, although she eats there once a week, that night, Eleanor was drawn to eat there.

“I think it was a God thing. I think God sent me there,” Eleanor said.

While Eleanor enjoyed her dinner, a young man at another table noticed her. This young man is Jamario Howard. He was dining there with two of his friends.

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They were having a great time, laughing, joking with each other when Jamario noticed Eleanor, alone at her table.

He said he hated seeing people eat alone.

“I don’t ever want to eat alone,” Jamario said. “I’m a people person, so I decided to talk to her.”

He got up and walked to Eleanor’s table. At first, Eleanor had a confused look on her face. Why was this young man coming towards her?

“He just came up and he said, ‘I saw you sitting over here alone.’ And he said, ‘Do you mind having some company?”” Eleanor recalled.

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Eleanor was ecstatic.

“And she said, ‘Go right ahead,'” Jamario said. “And then I introduced myself and she introduced herself. And it’s just kind of how it all got started.”

Jamario introduced herself and Eleanor told him that it would have been her wedding anniversary the next day. Jamario gave his condolences.

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He asked Eleanor if she’d like to come and sit at their table and finish her dinner with them.

“She was excited to sit with us and came over straight away. We all felt really comfortable and asked her a bunch of questions,” Jamario shared.

They talked about her children and grandchildren. They talked about her dog. And Eleanor enjoyed their dinner together. But more than that, Jamario, along with his friends JaMychol Baker and Tae Knight, enjoyed her company, as well.

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In fact, before they separated ways, they exchanged numbers so they can keep in touch. And they have kept in touch.

Jamario posted about the dinner on his Facebook wall and what it meant for him.

“The point in this is to always be kind and be nice to people. You never know what they are going through. This woman changed my outlook on life and how I look at other people. Everyone has a story so do not judge!” Jamario wrote.

Eleanor said if God had really meant for her to go to Brad’s Bar-B-Que that night, it’s because He wanted her to remind us of the joy that awaits just outside the bubbles we live in.

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And for Jamario, the experience has changed his outlook on life.

“I used to say when I was younger, I want to change the world somehow. And I don’t know how. I’m not rich. I’m not famous. And I’m not very smart either, so I can’t be president. But we can show the world it’s alright to be kind,” Jamario said. “And then, before long, maybe the world will be a much better place.”

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Learn more about their story and Eleanor and Jamario became instant friends by watching the video below.

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By Jaclyn Abergas
hi@sbly.com
Jaclyn Abergas is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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