Stranger Celebrates Widower's Wife's Birthday After Meeting Him in Grocery Store

Greg Johnson
Greg Johnson

The pair plans to hang again in the future.

A kind stranger helped a widower he ran into in an Indiana grocery store celebrate his wife's birthday.

Gregory Johnson, 60, said he was in a local Kroger when he spotted a man named Jim with a dozen roses and a cake in his cart. In an effort to strike up a conversation while waiting for his food, Johnson turned to the man and said, "You must have a big night ahead of you."

What happened next, he didn’t expect. 

“With his tears in his eyes he said, 'Wife died five years ago and today is her birthday,'” Johnson told “He said he celebrates it each year and cuts them each a piece of cake."

Johnson thought the story was heartbreaking and he could tell that Jim, who was in a wheelchair, needed a friend. 

"He just looked like he had no desire to live and like the saddest man who had ever been born. I could just sense he needed a buddy," Johnson said. "Two hours later we were still speaking."

Jim told Johnson his life story, how he’d been married to his wife for 53 years and they’d been high school sweethearts.

"He talked about the vacations they took and the time she surprised him and bought him a Rolex," Johnson said. "He needed it that night."

The pair, who found they live close to one another, plan to hang out in the future.

"I’ll probably take him out to eat," Johnson said.