The Best

Oct 09

I arrived a little early for radiation number six of thirty today, I so I detoured to the hospital shop to buy more of my thirty-four dollar special radiation cream.  On my way back down the hallway, I watched a little one-year-old jaunting down the hallway wearing skinny jeans and boots.  The little cutie reminded me of Greta; I just loved watching her rock the hallway.  The equally cute mom ran several steps ahead of the baby and took a picture.  I  smiled as they made a memory together in the hallway of a random hospital.  They stopped at the elevator I was targeting, so I smiled at the mom when I caught up and our eyes met.

Here’s where it gets weird.

She did a visible double-take, and then said, “Do you have a blog?”

I did an extreme double-take, and said, “Erm, uh, yes.”

We both stepped back from the elevator zone, and she went on, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m meeting you.  I read your blog, and I think you are just amazing, and here you are, a real person.”

I’m sort of blinking back tears at the obvious enthusiasm she is showing at meeting me.  I’m beyond thrilled, not so much that she recognized me, but that she greeted me so warmly.  She hugged me right away and it was so powerful to receive her love.  She’s a stranger-friend.  It turns out she’s been reading my blog since March, she’s been praying for me, and she recognized me thanks to the one recognizable picture I’ve posted of myself.

In our three minutes of conversation outside the elevator, she told me that she has struggled with infertility, she introduced me to her beautiful daughter, she told me that hearing my struggles and thoughts gives her insight on how to handle her own.  We shared two very sincere hugs and she told me she felt like she knew me.  And she treated me like she knew me, which I loved.  And I would very much like to know her.  She promised she would comment on my blog so we could be in touch.  She then hurriedly made me promise not to read her blog because it is nothing like my blog, and the whole conversation was kind of like that.  It was real and animated and enthusiastic and you’d think we were long lost friends if you were watching us from across the room.

It was deep, it was honest, it was meaningful.

Not bad for elevator talk.

There was no small talk of “cute boots” or “love your hair”.  In three minutes we covered each other’s biggest issues, saw God all over that moment and every moment, and, at least in my case, made each other’s day.  So often interactions with strangers are neutral at best.

Today made me see the best in her and the best in myself.  And I needed that today.  Sometimes I can see The Best all by myself.  Sometimes I need the curtain pulled back, the lights blazing, and the music trumpeting with The Best Of Real People, myself included.

Thanks, God.  That was cool.

19 comments

  1. I’m pretty sure you have “fans” like that all over the country – maybe even the world. I know I would LOVE to run into you at the elevator! I think there may be more people out there praying for you than you know. 😉

  2. I’ve been reading yours and your daughters blog for a while now and though I don’t comment I just wanted you to know that I too pray for you and your family and I think it’s totally awesome that you met someone so wonderful and that you guys got to share a moment from God.
    Blessings!

  3. Angela /

    Ditto Amy! Love this story. So glad to see God working in your life, my life, everyone’s life – in big and small ways. We here at home pray for you like you are the girlfriend we drink wine with on Friday nights. Like you are our sister. Lots of love bearing down on you in Cincy from all over. hugs from MI. :)

  4. Jen ~ Amy is right :-) I am sure you have many Fans & Prayers from people you don’t know; however, would love to meet ~ It is Wonderful to meet someone @ an elevator, in a doctor’s office, in line @ a bank, store, etc & have an exchange that makes you both feel good. A memory sealed with a smile that will last forever, even if you never see that person again :-) One of GOD’s Gifts for sure :-)

  5. Julie /

    Well you know I have been a fan long before the “C” thing :) Can’t wait to see you!!!!

  6. Peggy /

    Jen, there are no radom meetings ~ everything in life has a purpose. You needed to meet a “stranger friend” and so it happened! Life is full of these wonderful events. I’m sure if you listen carefully late at night, you’ll be able to “hear” all the prayers being said for your full recovery. ♥

  7. Shelley Carter /

    That is awesome!!! Wish I lived in your town so I could meet you in an elevator and tell you how much I love reading your blog too! Gotta love God’s little daily gifts.

  8. Michelle /

    Hi Jen, I am also one of the people who have been reading your blog since the Momastery post. I have not commented because I don’t normally consider myself the commenting type (whatever that means?). I decided today would be the day since it is my daughter Maren’s (yes spelled the same and all!) 8th Birthday. Your life/story really hits home for me. I lost my sister to breast cancer in 2008. She was only 40 years old with 4 year old twins and a 6 year old. When she found a lump in her breast her Dr told her it was nothing, and decided not to check it further. When she went back 4 months later, the lump was the size of a lemon and unbeknownst to her at the time, it had spread to her bones, she was 36 at the time. Things were so very difficult for her, so very different than your situation. Her husband was not supportive, she was working full time as the main, sometimes sole breadwinner in the family, my mother has mental issues and was unable to really be there for her, so she felt she was unable to slow down. It seems like her life was such a stark contrast to yours in that sense. I am praying that because you have a good solid foundation/family, a strong faith in god, a positive outlook; and a willingness to rest and allow the cancer experts to make the important decisions that all of this will allow you a much different outcome than hers. Maybe it is because of this that I find myself drawn to your story. I just really appreciate your honesty and your ability to allow family, faith, rest and knowledge to flow through you during this battle. I will continue to pray for you and your family. By the way my sister wrote a “blog” of sorts before I was really aware of blogs. It was on a website called caringbridge. They actually have not taken it down, if you want to take a look. I think you will appreciate her sense of humor throughout and her passion for coming to know “stranger friends”. She really believed a higher power was working amoung the people she met along the cancer path. That was another reason I decided to write today, after your elevator story. Anyway, if you want to look at her site you just go to http://www.caringbridge.org and put in “nataliet”. You continue to take good care of yourself!! PS I can appreciate the schedule you posted to show well meaning friends/family that fighting cancer is a full time job! Don’t let yourself feel guilty for not being able to “properly” thank or keep in contact with everyone. You have to be somewhat selfish right now, you are in the most important battle of your life.
    ~Michelle

  9. MommaJ /

    Living life with EYES wide open ….what an inspirational and real story, Jen. I too believe that nothing just happens-it comes along with purpose exactly at the times we need it most. The Lord knows us inside out and sends the blessing in the perfect time. Think I’ll keep my eyes open a little wider today 😉 Have a great day Jen – praying daily for you!!!!!

  10. Lu Klaiber /

    I have been reading your blog for months but have never commented. Reading of your encounter with this strange person was so amazing. I call these encounters “love letters” from God. In late June of this year, a very good friend was involved in a bicycling accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. His attitude has been an inspiration to all of us To inspire “him” further, I linked him up to you blog. His comment was that you are the hero because you are fighting for your life. He said he has his life and he just has to learn his new normal. You both have given me a renewed perspective on life’s priorities. Please know that you are a blessing to me. I am Jill Klaiber’s MIL.

  11. What a wonderful encounter! Made my heart smile!

  12. THAT IS THE BEST! xo

  13. Life is awesome. In the middle of your terror and trials, you are more guided by God every day. You truly radiate a brilliance and vitality that pre-Cancer Jen did not let shine as easily. Embrace your light and keep caring for it and you.

  14. I love it. And yes, I agree, you have lots of stranger friends out there rooting for you!

  15. Maryann Heywood Clarke /

    This is my visit comment on your blog. I have been reading it ever since Momastery made me aware of it. I have been reading and praying from the beginning. You inspire me and make me remember to be thankful on a daily basis. Your attitude in dealing with your fight is nothing short of amazing. I hope I get to meet you someday as well. It would be an honor to see you face to face here on earth cause I know I will look for you in heaven— hopefully a very long time from now. :)

  16. The Best.. I love this post! Hugs, Lauri

  17. Thank you so much for sharing this story. I’m in the midst if a huge community-building community-loving project at church and it’s hard.

    It’s lovely when we are reminded of the best in others and the best in ourselves. Especially when facing challenges. Your story helped me see this today so thanks to you for sharing and thanks to your new stranger friend for having the corkage and the joy to open her life up that day in the elevator.

  18. Heather /

    IT”S ME!!!!!!! It’s Heather, the one on the elevator floor with you!!! I am the one!!!! HI!!!!!! Oh, I am so excited you posted this! Been sucking with blogging and reading of blogs in the past week, but I am HERE!! HI!!!!! Okay, my email is heatherjoseph5432@yahoo.com, and my blog (it will not blow your mind by any means but it is me, my life, and it’s real…) is mattheatherwillcarolinedoodle.blogspot.com. I know, forever long title. Oh, how i am praying for you!! it was a total God thing and I love that we met!! I feel the same as you did on your blog…loved it, such an intimate perfect talk, don’t you think?!! you are a rock star, girlfriend, keep chugging!!!!

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