I made it to Omaha and Scott and I were both very sad. He was going on over 7 days in the hospital and it seemed like until radiation started working, he would either be in severe pain at home or no pain in the hospital. We cried about the many choices that seem like lose-lose situations. Every choice feels that way some days.
At one point, I wondered aloud, “Will we ever get to have fun as a family of four ever again?” My heart was heavy and sad. Hope was slipping away…
Our day progressed. We got permission to leave the floor, after the second radiation treatment. They came for Scott hours earlier than planned, and I walked down with him. As I kissed him good-bye and entered the waiting room, a little girl handed me a trinket.
“Thank you,” I said awkwardly.
“How old are you? I am guessing around 9.”
Her parents entered the scene, both with bald heads, just like their little girl’s.
“What’s your favorite book?” I asked awkwardly. ”I’m a teacher, so I always ask that question.”
I could tell immediately that it was the wrong question to ask her.
“I don’t have one.”
“What about when you were little, was there a book that you loved to look at every day?”
She looked at me and said in her sweet voice, “I’m not a big fan of reading.”
Her mom jumped in and we talked a few minutes about books, kids growing up, etc, while the little girl proceeded to hand out her trinkets to others who walked into that room. Soon, the conversation was over and I found a solitary spot in the waiting room.
It was a nothing special encounter that touched my heart, warmed my soul, and for some reason made me feel good. Hopeful.
Maybe it was because of the connection. Maybe it was because of the ordinariness of those 3 minutes. I don’t know why those minutes felt special or inspiring. THEY JUST DID.
As the day wore on, everything felt better. Friends sent a second batch of flowers, for no reason other than to cheer us on. Our hope was restored. Life feels good and I know, for now, it is all okay. Tomorrow will be better, I can feel it.
Like I said, this morning, life felt sad. After a chance encounter that was absolutely nothing special, I found my hope again. I can’t explain it and I don’t know why. I don’t have their names, or any information, but I pray for that family. They will never know how they helped me, but I know it was no accident I ended up in that waiting room at that time.