Thursday, May 8, 2014

Looking Up

Yesterday I saw them- they both waved in unison. I smiled and reciprocated. Months had passed since I had first seen them walking along, side by side. Time had rotated us into a whole different season. Red and orange leaves had scattered into fall. Bare limbs braved the blistery winter, and now spring was coming into full bloom.

The day our lives had intersected had been the perfect autumn day. Crisp, breezy, deep blue sky. The leaves on the trees lining the street were strikingly vibrant shades of crimson red, golden yellow and bright orange. And yet, I drove down the street that I do every day- barely noticing. I was running late. Moms who drive their kids to school are painfully aware of the exact time needed show up in order to leave the parking lot during daylight hours. Nobody cares that you had a rough afternoon or got a late start out the door. Half of the moms lined up are statistically either on their period or gearing up for it. Its like a PMS parade, except for the few dads that brave the dangerous parking lot at midday. If you don't get a prime spot with easy access out- you stay stuck parked in a line that takes hours to move. Its like reliving moments of childbirth five days a week.

On that day I was trying to rush from one destination to another, with multiple small children talking nonstop in the background. I was pushing thru the stresses of busy motherhood- getting things done and checked off my to-do list. Or so I thought.

It ended up being the kind of day that caught me by surprise and held me captive until I relented into seeing its magnificence. And it started when I saw a man and a woman walking side by side on the sidewalk. Probably nearing retirement, they were out for a leisurely afternoon stroll. Cars were shuffling into the parking lot by the second. I was within twenty feet of my desired spot when I saw this man suddenly stop. He turned to face the woman. She took a step backward into the grass of a yard.  He quickly walked around behind her as she fell into him. It almost felt like it happened in slow motion.

The cranky carpool-frenzied voice in my head told me to keep on driving. I was almost there. I could get a good spot. Besides my little girl would be waiting. I didn't want her to wonder where I was. Somebody else would help out. Somebody that had a clue on what to do.

And then I apparently did what I do when I am in a situation that catches me off guard.
I panic. And internalize it.
And in an instant, the thought seeped in. What if that was my mom.

I pulled up to the house they were in front of, rolled down the window and called out to the man. He was leaning over the woman now lying flat on her back. I had no idea what was happening, so I just called out, "Hey, is she alright? Do you need me to call 911?" And he told me that he needed me to stay with her while he ran to their home nearby to get her medication. SO... I roll down the windows a bit, lock my kids in the car (I'm overprotective like that), and sat on the front yard of a house in front of a school next to a lady having a seizure. I held her hands and spoke gently to her as she stared up at the sky.  Another stay-at-home-mom -who had an epileptic husband- also stopped.  The two of us sat on either side of the woman, reassuring her as her body began to relax, as we waited for her husband to return.

And so I looked up that day. At the most beautiful sky ever. And I noticed the stunning beauty of the trees. I took deep breaths of cold air that filled my lungs in the midst of uncertainty. I interrupted my busy day with a moment to just sit and hold the hand of a lady I didn't know. To calm her with nothing more than my presence and my voice. I was fortunate enough to meet a very sweet and humble woman last fall, who has lived a lifetime with epilepsy. Who now sees my car and makes a point to wave to me.

So I'm thinking about this today. How can we be more intentional connecting with people?
I would love to hear your ideas-


Listening to this amazing song you should most definitely download from iTunes:
Am I Wrong by Nico & Vinz

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