A total stranger hugged me this morning. It felt strange.
I was out walking around the medical center early, before the bustling morning activity on my 30 minute exercise walk. A family member of a patient stopped me to ask if I could tell her where the thoracic unit was. Wow, I actually knew where it was because Craig and I had spent the night there with Craig's dad when he had surgery for the same cancer Craig had. I immediately felt an affinity to this woman, simply wondering who was here, how she was related to them and if they were having the same type of surgery. No, I didn't ask. I gave her directions to the elevator telling her it was on the fourth floor and began walking again, heading in the opposite direction.
A few minutes later I realised I had made a huge mistake. We were in a different hospital! I sent her to the fourth floor of the children's hospital. I knew she had to be near the elevators by then but I couldn't forgive myself knowing I had screwed up so I started running back hoping to catch her. I caught her right at the elevators and walked with her to the correct hospital. The entire place is intimidating and I explained to her that I was merely exercising and not at all put out but she was so grateful for what she felt was someone going out of their way for her that she gave me a hug once we reached the correct elevator. Maybe stuff like that happens all the time, but I don't see it in my little midnight hour sheltered life.
My second hug came from an old friend, David, someone I haven't been in contact with since 1975 when we were housemates for awhile. We did some odd jobs together, like selling flowers on street corners for a commission just to pay the rent. He called my dad to get my number. I know he's looking for our mutual friend, my childhood best friend Reta Kay, who was his old girlfriend. I couldn't help him. I've been trying to find her for years myself.
I'm a little sad to know he moved back to his impoverished hometown and still lives there. He sounded like a man on a mission, saying he was getting old and wanted to contact all his old friends. He's a few years older than I, but hasn't yet turned 50. I have to wonder why but couldn't bring myself to ask. Craig also felt the need to contact old friends soon after he was diagnosed. I hope David finds her. It seemed so important.
posted by Cyndy