I stood in line a bit sheepishly, taking up all of the postal worker’s time. Before me were over 40 envelopes stuffed with my memoir, ready to be shipped out to my supporters all over the US and Canada.
A woman came in and I looked at her apologetically because I knew it would be at least another 15 minutes until all my packages were rung up. “It’s Ok,” she said, “I don’t mind waiting.”
We joked about why she might be wanting to kill time in the post office until she said, “I’m meeting a girlfriend later on. Her husband is on dialysis”. I told her what a good friend she was for doing so. “She would do the same for me. She has in fact, when I lost my husband.”
The teller and I exchanged knowing looks at one another, as earlier, I had told her about the book that I was shipping to so many people. The book about the loss of my own husband. “I lost my husband too,” I told the woman in line and we both kind of stood in disbelief. She shared about how it was nearly 3 years since her loss, but that she was getting married to a man in July. I later found out he too was a widower.
I grabbed one of the last packages that hadn’t yet been stamped and took out the book from the envelope and handed it to her. “Here, this is my book about my love and loss story,” I shared with her as she read the title and I told her about just returning from Camp Widow on Sunday.
“I have cancer too,” she said as she read the title Ebb from the Shoreline – Finding Cancer and Courage and we all kind of laughed at the absurdity of our commonalities. I wrapped my arm around this stranger’s shoulder.
“I just want to hug you,” I told her, and meant it genuinely. What a connection. She shared about how she had found out about her diagnosis and that she needed to get more surgery soon. She asked if she could pay for the book. “No, please, it’s yours,” I told her. “I believe in signs and connections and this is definitely one of them.”
A few minutes later I mentioned that I lived just down the street. She said “You do?” and shared the street she lived on. I stared in disbelief.
“I live on that street too!” I exclaimed. Jaws dropped. She lives about 8 houses away from me, a house I walk past frequently as I walk my big, floppy eared dog. The teller gave me a post-it so I could give her my number. She was just as astounded as we were. Then the teller shared, “The weird thing is, I’m only working here today because our post master is also out on cancer leave.”
What a world. This woman had come in to the post office to buy stamps for her wedding invitations.
I walked out of there amazed. You never know someone else’s story. I have always been a chatty person. My nickname was ‘Gabble Gut’ as a child, but I have no regrets for being that ‘Gabble Gut’ girl. Without being so, I never would have met this woman who lives half a mile from my home, also lost her husband and is battling cancer. I never would have made this amazing connection.
Never fail to talk to someone new, it may open up an incredible conversation
What a blessing that you were there for this woman, a stranger, in such a moment of need, whether she realized it or not. If you wind up connecting again within the week, or months down the road, you are going to be a wonderful and supportive friend to her. What an awesome story!
Thanks Nicole-I love having connections like this with people.
Thank you for sharing your story of today.
It’s a perfect reminder of the importance of the moment, each person we ‘meet’, and how we choose to process these moments.
You are living your life! Fully experiencing , fully present, alive. I love it.
I , no doubt expect to hear some day how you have connected with many more, as you use this God given ‘gift of gab’. and I mean this in the most positive sense.
Hugs my friend.
BTW- i truly look forward to reading your book.
I love this, Brenda. What an amazing connection.
It was so cool!
I can only hope it helps many.
Wow, love this story. One time I was on a flight and somehow my widowhood came up. The woman next to me was very nice and we exchanged cards. Later on, she emailed me to share that she was flying home for her father’s funeral and was not ready to talk about it on the flight, but that talking to me had given her strength and encouragement to know that she would be able to get through what was ahead for her. I’m always amazed at these “coincidences,” but eventually…it’s not so amazing, because you come to realize they are supposed to happen. Hugs!