A Special Chance Meeting

January 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

Early this morning I was picked up by a friend to go on a hike.  I love hiking. Its great exercise plus I get to be outdoors and enjoy the natural beauty of Los Angeles.  For people that don’t know LA, this is a city with many mountains and hiking trails.  Sometimes, you can actually find yourself in spots where there are no people or buildings and the only sound you hear is the wind.

Forty five minutes into our hike I saw a woman running with her dog.  She was wearing a sports bra and pants which showed her Mercedes Benz scar (an inverted Y).  I know that scar.  It is the same my husband had after his liver transplant and it is the one when he was delirious from ammonia and steroids, he thought was the mark of a special type of warrior.

I felt an immediate kinship with the woman and asked if her scar was from her liver.  She said no.  It was from bowels and pancreas. I let my friend walk ahead of me and I kept pace with this woman who now was also walking.

I told her my husband had a liver transplant in 2006 and she asked how he was doing.  I told her he had passed away in August 2008 but not from the transplant but for the cancer which had returned with a vengeance in 2007.  She said she was sorry and I know she was.  I find there is a depth and honesty in people that have come near death or who are struggling to stay alive that leaves no room for superficiality.  I thanked her for her compassion.

She went on to tell me she had been in a coma for 5 days three weeks ago and out of the hospital only a week.  I tell her what my husband used to say about the Mercedes Benz scar; the mark of a warrior, of special people.  She smiles and tells me she feels she is one of those toys on springs inside a box, the harder she is pushed down the harder she springs back up.

At that moment she realized her dog was nowhere in sight and I realized I too had lost my friend.

We said goodbye and she went looking for her dog while I went looking for my friend who I find a few yards ahead of me.

Fifteen minutes later the woman runs with her dog past my friend and I and says to my friend, that I was a special person.  I thought for a second why she would feel that way before I realized for a short time I had shared with this woman compassion and understanding and I didn’t pity her, I just listened to her.  I had stopped her to say I understood and I honored her bravery.

The woman reminded me how lucky I am to be alive, healthy and to still have the possibility of experiencing many things.  She also reminded me of my husband’s strength of will and spirit.  He was having a nice meal with my nieces the day before he passed away from cancer complications.  She reminded me of all the people who every day struggle to stay alive and come to realize what is really important simply because life is precious.

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