Rose Petals: Brief Encounters
Kathleene Runnels is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
It is said that we experience brief encounters every day, encounters that change us in ways we most often never realize. It may be a fleeting eye contact; a casual greeting; a friendly smile; an offhand comment; an unpleasant scowl. We should be respectful of what may be happening in others’ lives. We should consider how we can positively affect someone with whom we’ve had a brief encounter, or how we will be affected by it. But let me backtrack.
A year ago today we were celebrating my mother-in-law’s 100th birthday. Yes, today she’s 101! A year ago she was living alone; she was happy; and she was sharp as ever. Today, not so much. She’s been living with us for four months now, following the second fall and the second bone break this year. Needless to say, sometimes it’s very stressful on the family, all the household changes to accommodate an aging parent on Hospice and in-home providers in and out of the house all day, every day. The parent can be difficult, sometimes even mean; she can be demanding; oftentimes, she can be wearing on both the spirit and the body.
But having said that, I’ve been sobered into viewing our situation with a different perspective. Earlier this week, as I was having a bit of a come-apart, I stepped into the elevator of an oncology treatment center and met a lovely lady who was clearly distressed. After exchanging a few niceties, I asked her if she was all right. She shook her head and immediately threw herself into my arms and wept. She exclaimed that her spine cancer had returned. Dear God. I asked her name, Rebecca, and gave her mine. I assured her I would pray for her. I left the elevator on one floor; she went up to another.
Right away I regretted that I didn’t have Rebecca’s full name and contact information. How I would have loved to write her, to send her cards of encouragement, to befriend her and remind her often that she would be in my daily prayers. So I asked my nursing friend who was in one of the treatment wings if there was any way she could find Rebecca, a beautiful red-head, who was somewhere in that five-story building.
She told me it would be almost impossible to find someone without a surname and/or a doctor’s name. But, not prone to give up, I whispered a prayer that God would find Rebecca for me; then, wonder of wonders, some thirty minutes later, I received a text from my nursing friend, telling me that Rebecca had stopped into her wing. My friend told Rebecca of me and of my wanting to establish contact. Voila! Rebecca provided all the pertinent information, and now I am on a new mission. Rather than lamenting my circumstances, I am focusing on helping someone else find peace and solace in hers.
Thank you, Dear Lord, for the lesson, and the blessing that this brief encounter gave me.