Over the last few days, I have received a few emails about renewing this blog. I also had a friend I have known for years ask if I still write often. The answer to both was sadly no. Today however I made a new friend and it reminded me why I love this blog and why I love life even when I am feeling depressed.
You see, once a year where I work we do an All Staff Day. The day is to encourage team building and discuss issues pertaining to the company. This year, we were broken up into groups and for 2 hours, each group participated in some form of a community service. My group was selected to work at a senior assisted facility in Mooresville, NC.
While there, I was wandering around trying to find my place. I volunteered to assist with a couple tasks but was still finding my way. Then I heard one of my co-workers talking with a resident and they mentioned a keyword that caught my attention: Syracuse. Now I tend to be a bit on the shy side if I am not comfortable with people but when I hear Syracuse, you now have my attention. Fortunately for me, this led to me meeting an awesome woman named Ms. Moore.
Ms. Moore told me that she lived in Syracuse on the hill and worked for 12 years cleaning buildings on the campus before becoming a CNA at a local hospital. She also had two nephews who graduated from the university and at least one went into teaching and is in Virginia now. YOU NOW HAVE ALL MY ATTENTION, MA’AM!
Now, I do not have any pictures of us and I won’t release her full name because I didn’t get her permission and that isn’t what this is about. In fact, I didn’t intend to write about it until I was driving home thinking about how great the experience was and to share it as a reminder of how small this world is. This is also to share how sometimes you can find something or someone truly special even when you least expect it.
Ms. Moore and I didn’t break down the state of the economy or discuss politics. We didn’t discuss religion or celebrities. We simply talked about her family and her experiences in Syracuse. I don’t care if she was left wing or right wing or whether she believes in a God, I simply loved hearing someone who enjoyed talking about something we have in common and her life. Hopefully I left her feeling even half as good as she made me and some of my co-workers feel interacting with her.
She suffered a stroke that left her with paralysis of her left side and thus is the reason she is in this facility along with others with physical or mental disabilities (by the way, thank you to those who choose to volunteer or work with these people because they need more caring people like you). At times, I had difficulty understanding her but when I did, everything was worth it. Granted, I was not the one she referred to as her boyfriend because I lack hair and my friend/co-worker Steven was more appealing but I have to tell you, my life is better because I met Ms. Moore. I don’t know if I saw her again if she would remember me but I know I will never forget her.
I learned a few things today I was not expectation and I am glad I did. Next time you pass that lady who is working to clean the floors of some place you love, remember that they likely have a family they are supporting and are not beneath anyway. I learned that two people from different backgrounds and different eras can still bond over one small subject and enjoy each others company. I suddenly wanted to meet her daughter and sons and nephews who attended Syracuse University and learn more. I wanted to load her up with Syracuse stuff thinking it could make her smile like she did a few times as we talked.
I am not the most outgoing person unless I have been drinking or I feel very comfortable around someone but today I am grateful I heard that word and got to know her. I hope maybe someday I will see her again and maybe we can talk more about life…and probably Syracuse too. I hope that before my life is over, I have more chances like today so that when I walk through the gates of Heaven and face God, I can tell him that I am sorry for my mistakes and my sins but I can also share with him my stories about people like Ms. Moore and how much I appreciate this chance to have people like her touch my life.
“Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.”