It's 5:15am at the local Starbucks. I'm standing in line and the person ahead of me in line is putting together what seems to be a large order.
"Can I have some bagels, donuts, oh and some brownies too, along with this coffee order."
My curiosity is peaked, and she chimes to the counter person, "Thank you, the order is for the nurses at Sloan-Kettering Cancer society because they've been doing a great job taking care of my Dad." I tend to believe that people share things in order to be self expressed, and to be heard, to have their expression recognized.
Standing in line, fiddling with my book bag, the possibility of her wanting to be heard flashed by. I, stopped, and asked her how her father was doing.
"He's in a coma, he fell into a coma yesterday and my sister and I have been taking shifts being there with him and mediating with the nurses and doctors," she said, trying hard to hold it together, with shoulders tight, holding her own emotions in. I could relate to her experience, as my Dad had been in the ER a month ago, and anyone who's had a loved one quickly slip into unconscious - the feeling of helplessness and fear of loss.
I sat down with my coffee, trying to fix my watch strap which got caught on my bag strap....realizing, it wasn't about fixing the strap, but rather not knowing myself what to say to someone who's shared something so dear. Bonded with human experience, compelled to make a connection, I realized how I, too, was "holding it in." Diverting my sense of helplessness to something more familiar - the watch strap. And to think, what if your Dad slipped into a coma...
"It's not about me," I realized. I walked up to the counter and told the guy Iwanted to pay for her order. She says, "Oh you don't have to...it's okay." I looked into her eyes gently, and told her that, "This is the last thing you have to worry about - just keep praying. Be in a space of intentioning his positive health. It's okay, let someone else get this." Her eyes swelled up in tears and she finally started letting it out, with intermittent "thank you's".
"I'm sorry, I haven't cried like this in a while...thank you."
"We all need a good cry, every now and then, it's healthy...just let it out."
We hug, both filled with emotion.
We, then, walk over to the milk & sugar station and talk about his condition. How it was just a few hours ago that her father started moving his fingers. Practicing listening to "10 second thoughts" that come as lightning and leave just as quick has helped me connect with my intuition.
I turn to her and say, "He's going to be okay, he will come out of this, just keep re-inforcing him with touch, his body memory will start jogging his mental memory. He's going to be okay." She then tells me her name is Christine, I tell her mine is "Anon". She get it, smiles, and releases the rest of her pent up strength. We hug, exchange thank you's and wish each other a good day.
All, this happened within 20 mins, sparked by a few 10 second thoughts to let go of whatever considerations hinder connection. Y'know it's love, when there's no rhyme or reason or "figuring it out" - but just spontaneous connection and a willingness to contribute/be contributed to.
And in case you're interested, here's a video version of this story which a friend and I recorded, in case it inspires you in some small way.
unknown wrote: That's all it takes :) That was the most beautiful part of this conversation ... Thanks so much for sharing this lovely open sharing by this beautiful pair of men ... God bless :):)
prakashhassan wrote: It is touching my heart. No alternative for love and kindness.
alex wrote: I think this is a great act of kindness. I wokr with the elderly in kenya and face lolt of challenges to attend to their needs. But it is a great work. Lets connect to share in the lives of the old. Be blessed. Alex
jaikarkaur wrote: I am so impressed by your ability to connect in such a deeply emotional way in such a short time. I believe that you were drawn to that place and time for that encounter. But you not only showed up you brought your deepest goodness and shared it.
MaryBeth wrote: Sincerely touched by this story. Thank you for your compassion to her unspoken need of a friend.
bookworm58 wrote: I enjoyed your message very much. We should reach out to others whenever we can. Sometimes its something small like a cup of coffee and sometimes more. Thanks for sharing this,
kamlesh wrote: Go better, contact me for being part of kindness,
Kansaskid wrote: Amazing story! Thanks so much for sharing! It will make me stop and think next time to put a little effort out there.
Teachyteach wrote: I love this story because you made this happen. You inserted kindness into the moment. I will remember this.
amybgarvey wrote: Thanks for the story and the powerful reminder of just how much it can mean to simply listen. Everyone needs to be heard - i'm glad you were there to offer that to this gal - kudos!
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