It was a chance encounter. I had brought my friend to the outpatient surgical center for a procedure. While in the waiting room a young man sat in the chair next to me. He had brought his wife in for a D&C following the miscarriage of their first child. His pain was fresh and visible as he tried to describe the love he felt for a child he would never meet or hold. His pain brought me back 36 years to when I had lost not one, but 3 children before I gave birth to my daughter, Francesca.
To those in the waiting room, we looked like an improbable match for conversation. I am an overweight, retired, Italian/American female, with the visible signs of aging. While my new friend was a young, vibrant, physical fit Bahamian man with the ability to get along with, as he says, “anyone from two to toothless and crawling to falling”.
While he was not two and crawling, nor I toothless and falling; the age difference made us unlikely to have anything to talk about. And yet we did. I told him about my experiences and the strength my husband and I had gained through the plethora of health issues we shared between the two of us. He shared his passion and love for his wife, his concern for her health and the heartbreak at their loss. We shared in the pain, and even a few laughs. He believes that humor is the body’s sixth sense. A belief we have in common.
During our time together we leaned on our faith: one to survive the pain; the other to console the one experiencing the pain. We ended our time together exchanging names, a hug, and promises to pray for one another.
To those in the waiting room of the Outpatient Surgical Center it may have looked like a chance encounter. But I believe it was a God encounter. God always seems to bring people together to encourage one another and for His presence to be felt amongst us, through us, and within us. For me, it was an opportunity to share, review, and re-acknowledge how Thad and I had survived, and even thrived throughout the medical adversity in our lives. We have and continue to be pruned and groomed by God to grow and share our faith in all and any circumstance. For my new friend, it may have been the opportunity to see through an overweight, retired, Italian/American woman that one could survive the pain and still have a future filled with hope, love, laughter, and even children. Godspeed, Marcian.
Aaron, and Hur held up Moses’ hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. Exodus 17:12 (NRSV)