When gratefulness slaps you right upside your head, you are stunned, overwhelmed and taken aback. This happened to me yesterday while I was getting a pedicure. It all began when my pregnant hairstylist who also does my nails, tells me she can’t do my pedicures anymore. I said fine and was introduced to the woman who was to take her place. While my hair was tinting and my fingernails being cleaned up, my new pedicurist kept asking me about my pedicure. I said to my hairstylist that I haven’t had someone so interested in my toes in a very long time. She just smiled and ignored me.
Time for my pedicure arrived and I sat and waited and waited. The water got cold and my feet were getting shriveled and I was moments away from just getting up and leaving. Just as I was about to scurry on out of there, she arrives raring to go. That was surely meant to be. She began conversing with me and just as I was going to pull out my Kindle, she engaged me in some meaningful conversation. Not wanting to be rude, I began to listen. Lo and behold we had something very near and dear to me in common. She had volunteered at my son’s organization that provides services for children and adults with disabilities. She told me she volunteered there because she had always wanted to become a special ed teacher. We knew people in common and she shared what an incredible experience this had been for her. It gave me the opportunity to talk about my son who had lived in assisting living in this organization and how much my son had taught me. He passed away 5 years ago and I miss him terribly and here I almost didn’t get to share this special connection with this woman.
Now you might say how this experience motivated the slap upside my head. By her engaging me in this conversation, I also began to ask her why and how this came about and why she needed to let go working with this organization. This led to her revealing some very personal information about her health. She shared me with that she had been suffering from Crohn’s Disease for most of her 46 years and then Lupus for about 10 years. She described the many surgeries she has had and the ramifications of the Lupus. She also spoke to me about the fact that she wasn’t able to afford her Lupus treatments that are a vital part of her intestinal stability.
Here she was so positive and so giving wanting to participate in life’s avenues of generosity of spirit and heart. I spoke of her courage and stamina and how I respected her willingness to meet life’s suffering with such determination and persistence all the while smiling away.
I’ve had my health challenges in the last couple of years especially though life has thrown me some serious health issues in years past. But yesterday I left that salon having made a new friend and with the awareness that I had so much more to be grateful for than I was acknowledging. I took a good hard look at my challenges and new that they didn’t compare. I took a long deep breath and thanked God for all the help and support I have had. Gratefulness just filled my entire being and hopefully my new friend will be a constant reminder of how fortunate I am.