Think twice, the impression is not always the intention.
Aniekee Tochuku Ezekiel
I definitely was tough on my neighbor last Friday. I felt she had not followed through with her commitment to water our plants and I was angry.
As usual, there was much more to the story. Much more.
Late Friday evening, our door bell rang. I opened the door to see my neighbor standing there with an expectant look on her face. I had a few seconds to decide how to handle things. Do I simply say, thank you or do I start asking questions? Fortunately for me, she began speaking quickly, asking me if I had heard what happened? By the grace of God, I answered with a quick, no.
Suddenly, I experienced one of those times when you feel time slowing down. I started noticing little things: she was so pale with very dark circles under her eyes, her speech was slow, more deliberate, she stopped often to get her breath, her hair had that kinda funky look you get from being on your back for a while, the t-shirt she had on was definitely not her usual going outside type of dress, and her poor little forearms held up for me to see were covered in bruises with patches of that super sticky residue left behind from hospital grade tape.
She paused, took a breath, sighed, and said, “I had a heart attack Wednesday.”
A series of words poured out of my mouth that I won’t share here…
Lessons come in kinds of shapes and sizes. I have been given this lesson many many times. I seem to be having a very hard time learning it–this may have been the real crash course.
I put my arms around her–who, I must add, had come over to our house immediately after getting home from the hospital to explain things. Together we walked to her house, she going into more detail about her experiences while I gave thanks she was able to be there to tell me all about it.
Life is precious. Life is fragile. Life can be so damn hard.
Be aware. Be patient. Be kind.
With a grateful heart I wish you love and peace.