All She Needed Was Someone To Talk To..

6 Nov

If by chance you happen to pass me by in the street and I don’t have my headphones on or am reading a book, chances are I’m probably talking to a random stranger.

Like yesterday, I met this much older Puerto Rican woman early in the morning on my way to a doctor’s appointment and I just so happened to be waiting for a bus with her. We sparked up a conversation and it just went from there. In a matter of fifteen minutes, she told me that her daughter had been diagnosed with cancer three weeks ago. Before and even after that, she told me all of these things she had to do – her To Do list for the day. She smiled often and even joked with me about the neighborhood we were in and how much it’s changed. This conversation and in particular, one thing she told me has been with me since yesterday.

“Time is precious.”

I thought about it for a minute after she said that and thought about the people in my life – and knew exactly where she was coming from when she said that. Time is of the essence. 

If I ever wondered what the saying, “Live your life every day like it’s your last,” meant and looked it up in a dictionary – this woman’s face would be front and center.

What’s more is that this woman was full of life – the stories she was telling me: about her Father and his coffee plantation in Puerto Rico made me feel like I was listening to a real life act of history – not something you read in history books.

Some of the best things you learn are through the simplest of conversations.

Too often we forget that the strangers around us are also our neighbors and they, too, have stories to tell. I mean, do you honestly think I would’ve known this petite little woman was able to make a dress in six hours had she not told me so? I listened, and listened even as we got on the bus. Before she got off the bus, she asked me to pray for peace, but in turn I told her I would also pray for her and her family.

I found myself a little while later in the hair salon sitting a chair away from a woman talking with her girlfriend about her process going through Chemotheraphy and Radiation. I overheard her saying to her girlfriend that she had a few kids, but all of them were much older, except for one. She had one young child – eight years old who happened to be with her. She said to her girlfriend, “I thought to myself, how am I going to do this? She’s only eight. She’s a baby.” 

Then I thought about the Puerto Rican woman I met whose daughter has cancer and what must’ve been going through her mind, too. I’ve learned, especially in working with outreach and with survivors of cancer and people still fighting – that cancer is something that doesn’t discriminate. Age, sex, race, income – you name it. It will come knocking at your door no matter who you are. But even this woman at the salon was in amazing spirits. She laughed, smiled and joked with the hairdressers. She was talking up a storm on her cellphone.

It’s a shame, but sometimes when people fall ill – they have a renewed sense of life inside them and the living walk around ten steps away from being ten feet under not realizing their self worth. 

I never really realized – until now – just how much talking to people really does work miracles. Sometimes, other people can bring better things out in you, you never saw before. And yes, people are supposed to give you that push. That’s why we have people we turn to. But even then – it doesn’t hurt to just smile and talk to someone.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: