Come again?
Friday May 25th 2007, 9:04 pm
Filed under: Amaryllis,Life,Non-Knitting

I did the most mundane of tasks the other day: I called in a prescription refill on my meds.

One of them had expired, needed an okay from the doctor, and wasn’t ready when we picked up the rest. Nuts. It would need its own trip. It seemed kind of a waste.

And then, for no reason I could have told anyone, I didn’t get around to going all week. I just didn’t feel like it. Today I looked at the fact that it was Friday, that the clinic’s pharmacy closes for the weekend at 12:30 Saturday afternoons, that it was going to be closed Monday for the holiday, and, hey, I’d better get a move on already. I headed out the door.

And wondered, as I went along, if I would run into anybody I knew. It’s a big enough clinic that I fairly often do.

I go to the local lupus support group to try to show those struggling with a new diagnosis that life does go on, that you can be cheerful still, that you adjust and find you’re still yourself and still just as capable of being happy: I try to be who I needed someone to be for me 17 years ago.

There was one time, probably two years ago, that a woman showed up who just couldn’t hear a message like that, absolutely not, not yet and maybe not ever. She was sure she was too close to death to make any plans for any kind of a future, she despaired of having any chance of seeing her children grow up, and she was as depressed a person as I’ve met in a long time. This was no time for being chipper, this was a crying need for someone who understood–and every one of us there tried to be that for her. Every one of us had, on some level at some point, gone through that same uncertainty and struggle, if not as deep, still, enough to know. And several of us had gone through episodes where life was in the balance, and knew the power of knowing someone was there for us through the worst.

I have to say that for all the best intentions on my part, I think I was the person she least related to. Much though I would have wanted to do better than that. I was too successful at what I wanted out of my life.

As they were ringing up my prescription at the counter today, I happened to glance behind me and see who was waiting next for theirs. It took me a moment–it was her! I smiled; she seemed to have no idea who I was, and ignored me.

The next clerk motioned her over. She was waiting for them to get her meds when I finished; I walked behind her and softly called her name, not entirely sure I remembered it correctly. There was a moment’s hesitation on her part, and then she turned to see who on earth? I re-introduced myself as being from the lupus group, and now she remembered me: ah, yes. Okay. I asked her how she was doing; she sighed, gave a small smile, and said, well, she was here every Wednesday and Friday.

“Oh, I’m sorry!” I said sympathetically.

She looked me steadily in the eyes, and answered calmly, “Beats the alternative.” And then was clearly glad to see me laugh ruefully, gently–whereas once she might well have taken offense at that, might have thought it meant I didn’t really understand the depths of her pain.

Oh, I do.

I had hoped against hope back then that at that meeting she had simply let the worst of her fears vent, that it wasn’t really that bad, day-to-day, for her. But I didn’t know. I hoped we’d done some good in hearing her out. But I didn’t know. And then we didn’t see her again.

And I didn’t know.

And now I know. Whether we played any part or not, now I know that she did indeed begin to cope.

Today she got a chance to show a member of that group that had seen her at her lowest point that she, too, was continuing on now. That she, too, could smile now.

I don’t know if she’ll come back and give us another chance to befriend her.

I do know, today, she helped me. So few words were spoken, but so much was conveyed. She would be all right after all, come what may.

When I got home, I walked into the bathroom under the skylight and noticed that my amaryllis’s bud, which is still growing upwards, had started leaning to one side, so I turned the pot to even it out in its trajectory towards the light. And found, on the other side–I told you God is a poet!–what I never, ever would have guessed. Surprise!

A second bud.

5 Comments so far
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You just never know who you will meet when you’re out on the street. I’m glad you ran into each other.


Comment by Pam in Ohio 05.26.07 @ 8:02 am

You know, Serena never hit that “wall”, she was so glad that she had a dx. But I remember my grief for her when we got it. And I had to work my way through it. And there were wonderful people online who held my hand. I hope I can some day give the same gift to someone else.

You know, I have an amaryllis bulb in the garage. I need to plant it and see what will happen.

Comment by Mary Hunt 05.26.07 @ 5:46 pm

You have a knack for inducing spontaneous miracles wherever you go.

Comment by Marlene 05.27.07 @ 10:33 am

I think, I think… Marlene, I think small miracles like that happen around us all the time. And sometimes, if we’re fortunate, we get to see them.

Comment by AlisonH 05.29.07 @ 12:26 am

We always need to look on both sides…and see what God has in store for us. Go Amyrillis!

I’m sure the caring and positive attitudes encountered at the support group helped the woman know that others could cope, so there was hope that she could, too. Hope and beliefs are funny things since they invariably yield more of the same. Living those beliefs and holding fast the hope brings life, abundantly, even in the face of adversity.

Comment by Karen 05.29.07 @ 7:09 am

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