Saturday, April 9, 2011

Rainy Sunday

Last weekend my husband and I were able to meet our friends' brand new baby girl, hours after she was born. Since we don't live close by we don't get so see them as often as we would like, so we were fortunate to be able to share a special moment in their lives.

It was a rainy Sunday morning and we were running late, as usual. As we found a place to park I watched a Toyota Camry pull into a handicap parking space not far from ours. I don't know why I was paying attention, I just did. The driver stepped onto the same elevator we did, but he chose a different floor.

He was older, although I couldn't say for sure what his age was, but he had white hair and looked to be retired. In his arm he carried a newspaper and appeared to be healthy and in good condition. Not someone who needed a handicap parking space, but I wasn't really thinking about that yet.

We carried on casual conversation about the weather, and he appeared to be quite happy. The he said, "Nothing like spending all day in a hospital," or something like that, as he gestured with his newspaper that he would have some quality time reading. I raised the gift we were taking and said, "It's a good reason." He asked if the gift was for a baby, and I said, yes. Then the elevator stopped and my husband and I got off.

We were with the man for less than three minutes and I didn't think about him again until later that day. For some reason, like a mystery, I had to figure this guy out. I only had the few observances to go on. I couldn't get our short interaction with this man out of my mind.

As I thought about everything, I began to wonder why he would be spending all day at a hospital. Although he was cheerful, his eyes were weary. My husband and I were there for a happy occasion, his sad eyes told me he was not.

I'll never know for sure why he was there, or why he was a person that made an impression on my day. Perhaps I sympathized with him since I have spent many hours in hospitals and know how draining it can be. When I saw later that he was visiting the hospice floor, I understood he had more emotions going through his body than my happy ones for our friends. The handicap sticker was probably not for him.

I wished I could have said something more to the man, more than, "Have a nice day," as we stepped off of the elevator.

And thus the cycle of life.

I still have come to no conclusion about our meeting on the elevator, other than we are all at different places in our lives, all dealing with different circumstances. I easily spoke about our reason for visitng the hospital, he never said a word.

Although this man sits on my heart, the meeting of a new born person was just as significant that day. She was only 12 hours old, and her parents said she already had her own little personality. Her big sister, 3 and full of energy, was giving kisses and hoping the new baby would play with her.

Life is all around us. Different stages, different cycles; but each day it's there.

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