*With any typical experience, you could, if you were in the mood, peel back the layers; cue an onion. Finding the deeper meaning in the mundane, has become habit for me. That saying, along the lines of the compilation of life’s little moments becomes your life, applies here. I may have lost you, but let me explain.
Seated in the Breast Center waiting room just yesterday, I was surrounded by a core group of 5 or 6 women. We were probably as diverse as our ages. We initially clung to the half shirt johnnies that opened in the front over our bare chest, the ties entirely useless. Boring TV voices (why is it always talk shows?) drone from the hanging TV. Not one of us paid any attention to it. Soon, we barely tried to keep ourselves covered, so futile was that effort. Our minds were elsewhere and we were all women.
What we did pay attention to, was each other. Each of us kindly eyeing each other with an empathetic smile. We did speak and those that didn’t, occasionally nodded their heads. One women wore a wig, one held an ice pack to her chest, another could care less who she may have flashed, hands still visibly shaking from the biopsy she had just had. My absolute favorite of my company, among the boring TV, useless johnnies, iced breast & bandages, was a beautiful lady most likely in her eighties.
She walked with a cane, but she still stood tall and graceful. Her kind, clear blue eyes were as vibrant as any of ours. She had a cozy, light pink sweater that her daughter kept adjusting for her. She really was beautiful; the pink mirroring the soft blush of her cheeks. She too had on that awful johnnie thing.
We barely unchanged words, but we became quick friends. She was called for her mammogram by a brunette, middle-aged tec that appeared to be a bit flustered, hey…it happens. Her lips tensed and she made a slight groan. She was hesitant. I don’t blame her. She sat directly across from me, our eyes met. I encouraged her, whispering and smiling, “It’s Ok, you can do it.” She smiled kindly back at me and pushed forward in her chair, her daughter helping her to her feet.
I sat in that waiting room and waited, of course. A few patients came and went. The staff scurried by, occasionally stopping to ask if I was being helped or to offer a smile. I thought, “these people care”, and I recognized my profession in them.
My friend returned from her testing, she changed out of that horrible johnnie thing and prepared to leave. Before she left, she turned back to me and paused. Those beautiful eyes and that kind smile again met mine. She spoke softly to me, “I hope everything turns out alright for you.” She held her gaze on me for a few moments and nodded to leave.
That was one of the best, breast moments of my day. It may not seem like much, I know. But, her presence, her energy soothed me so.
If there is a moral to my waiting room experience, it’s one we have all certainly heard before. When another offers to you genuine kindness or you offer sincere kindness to another, you become intertwined if only for that moment. Practicing random acts of kindness, sometimes is actually not at all random, but just may make someone’s day…just like my new friend made mine.