Sunday, November 16, 2008

leaving footprints ...

Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts.
And we are never ever the same.


"Is there a clock in here?" the woman asked.

I'd noticed her earlier when I came and sat in the waiting room at the car dealership. A woman a bit older than myself, nicely dressed, her soft white hair styled, lip gloss, glasses. A pretty woman, with a kind-looking face, reading in a nearby chair.

I smiled at her and said "I don't think so, but let me check my phone. It's 1:12."

Startled, she looked at me and I realized that I hadn't reset my cellphone for the end of Daylight Saving Time, so I quickly corrected myself. She relaxed and we both chuckled over my mistake.

She was going to pick up her husband from his dialysis treatment, she told me; she wanted to be sure she wasn't late. (My granddaughters tease me about always talking to strangers; I'm the "talk to strangers lady" they say.) How long does it take, I asked her. About four hours, she said. But he never complains. He's had a number of other health problems ...

And so began a wonderful, memorable conversation with the woman with the kind face. She went on to tell me about her husband, her eyes glowing with a soft, almost reverential love, the health challenges he'd had over the years and how he faced each one with determination and optimism. It was clear that not only did she love him, but she was amazed by the spirit in this man, too.

"How did you meet?" I asked her. "I always love hearing people's "meeting" stories." She giggled a little and told me about being introduced to him, a student here in the U.S. from Colombia, when she was just 18. A few short months later, they were married and had been married for 56 years. When he was growing up, his family had adopted a number of kids (if I remember, correctly, there were 18 in his family; could that be right? Yes, I'm pretty sure it is), children who needed a home, even though his own parents weren't wealthy, but had the most generous of hearts. She said that all his siblings were remarkable like him: good, kind, caring, fun, generous people, friends to all they met.

As we talked, her gentle voice made me smile deep in my heart as she told me about their lives together, their children and grandchildren and a new great-grandchild. I imagined her as a young woman, married to a wonderful man, as a young wife, then mother and on through her life. She glowed as she spoke. Throughout our conversation, she never talked about herself; only about this man that she so obviously loved wholly and completely and the family and friends that he had influenced by his own life.

For just those moments there in the car dealership, I felt our souls connect on a deeper level as she spoke. It was like an angel showing my spirit-self the beauty of their two lives together. I was enthralled, barely aware of our surroundings. Beauty has a such a compelling way of making us oblivious to all else sometimes, and I was witnessing beauty through her stories, enchanted at hearing about this man, and thoroughly enchanted with her.

Too soon, the service consultant came and told her that her car was ready. Smiling at me as she got up, she said "I've enjoyed talking with you. May God's blessings be yours." I said a blessing back to her and watched her walk away, her story leaving its imprint on my heart.

~ Namaste


Anonymous said...

Sweet. My mom talked to strangers, and I do too. :)


paintergal said...

I'm sure she was just as touched by the conversation as you were.
My dad was on dialysis the last seven years of his life so I'm aware of the hours involved with that.

Amber said...

What a lovely post, Rose! She obviously sensed you are a warm, caring soul. I think talking about her blessings to you probably made her day...and kept her focused on the positive.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to know that someone goes out into the world and talks about you so positively to others, out of pure love? Her husband is a VERY lucky man.

maitlandmommy said...

i love reading your writings Rose. This is such an intimate glance into a sweet sweet moment. I loved hearing you mention your spirit-self. We can't neglect that side of us - can we?

Lady Prism said...

The best gifts are not the ones that can be physically received, but those that can generously fill the heart. I thought this while reading through your post.

It's a real gift when life gives you such a remarkable moment to deeply connect with someone you have just met. This doesn't happen all the time, or to just anyone. Only to those who are willing to receive, I think.

dec0r8or said...

What a lovely post, Rose. I, too, talk to strangers. I enjoy getting glimpses into other people's lives. Your story sounds like quite a special glimpse. :)

Rose said...

stewcarol - it's nice to acknowledge people rather than ignore their existence, isn't it?

PG - 7 years - wow! It takes a special grace to accept that.

Amber - Isn't it wonderful to hear someone talk about their loved one like that? (so different than Kate on Jon&Kate+8!) I hope she tells
her hubz the same thing.

maitland - absolutely. we are dualistic: body and soul.

Lady P - ... gifts that generously fill the heart ... Beautifully stated ...

Sharon - Sharing our stories with one another is a beautiful thing, isn't it? We are one ...

rebecca said...

Rose - I echo Lady Prism's comment. It was an opportunity granted to you both to connect and embrace each other's hearts. You will never forget her and her amazing love story as she will never forget the day a kind, welcoming soul sat and listened while she processed yet another challenge in her and her husband' a lives. We count on the kindness of strangers.....

Connie said...

Rose, you have definitely left your footprints on my heart. I feel so blessed just to be able to read your blog each day. I always come away with peace in my heart. The Lord has given me a wonderful, compassionate person with the sweetest spirit I know.

Hugs to you my friend,