Recently part of my world came crashing down. Literally. A ceiling collapsed. I am grateful no one was hurt or killed. Pieces of insulation continue to waft down and bigger chucks of the ceiling continue to drop occasionally so that part of the house is off limits now.
It has changed the way I move in my home and disrupted my routine. It can be cold in the house.
When I left this morning for coffee, I was wearing layers like I might be heading for a hike in the Cascades. I didn’t feel good about my morning or engaging with anyone.
Uncharacteristically sitting in a back corner, I didn’t think it would be an issue. My personal neon “closed” sign was up.
That changed in an instant. A gentleman I often see in the shop, left his table and came over. We don’t know each other except we go to the same place for coffee. We’ve said good morning to each other before or remarked about the weather, but never anything more than one or two words.
I fired a verbal warning volley as he walked toward my table, making apologies for my insulated layers, casually up-swept hair and bare face explaining it wasn’t the best morning. I was cold in more than ways than one. He did something so kind and so unexpected, it left me speechless.
He told me he had to come over to tell me he had grown accustomed to seeing my face and had been disappointed when he came in and I had not been there. I sat there speechless. He quickly said he’d flubbed his line, but was glad to see me and turned to walk away.
I found the words to thank him for his kindness and explain I had been in a bad mood because I was cold. I only realize now in writing this, I didn’t invite him to sit down. He stood there and told me he understood. He often has chills because of the drugs he takes to fight inoperable cancer in several areas of his body.
I hadn’t known this. I had noticed before he sometimes used a walking stick or cane. A younger man with an athletic build I had just assumed it was some kind of sports injury. I told him I had noticed today he was walking unaccompanied. He then shared how even this accomplishment was frustrating. Just the day before his diagnosis, he had skated 14 miles!
I regret I never asked him to sit down. I did find out what the next phase of his treatment is and when it will happen. I will be praying for him.
How kind he is. Seeing I was obviously not my ‘normal’ self and reaching out to me today. If you found out you were dying would you be kinder? Live life more? Well, we all are.