Paradise is Sharing...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Kindred Spirit...

With an empty styrofoam cup in my hand, I stared at the selection of coffee offerings.  Hazelnut. Blueberry. Pumpkin Spice. Breakfast blend. Dark Roast. Light Roast. French Roast.  Choices... too many choices.  The cafeteria canteens started to all blend together.  My head started to spin.... it's just all too much.

"I just want a cup of coffee." I moaned.

"Me too"

I looked over and saw a slender girl.. probably 10 or 15 (oh, who's kidding.... definitely 15) years my junior.  She wore cotton leggings, a long sweater, and a chic black hat pulled over her soft brown hair.   Her eyes were dark, tear rimmed, heavy.  Like mine.  She had the same dazed look on her face... the look that told me she too was wandering the halls of this hospital, taking each day one at a time, making serious choices for a loved one, deciding what course of action to take next, trying to hold it all together .... and we can't decide what coffee we wanted to drink.

We shared a nod, a smile, and a point in the right direction towards the creamer and sugar...  but we didn't share our stories with each other... we didn't have to - we already knew the story.  Her story was mine, and my story was hers. 

In the patient kitchen, we exchanged smiles and glances as we fetched more ice chips, water, or jello cups for our loved one.  Her brown eyes looked burdened.  She is much too young to look so sad.  I, on the other hand, am too old for back-to-back all-nighters.  Looking at her glossy brown hair made me wonder if mine silvered more overnight.  A joke or two about checking our excess luggage (while pointing to the bags under our eyes) inside joke... an understanding.  It's all too much.  Eyes would water, heads would bow down, and we would retreat to our opposite ends of the hall.  I wondered if she would be ok.  I wondered if I would be ok, then quickly reminded myself that yes, of course, everything will be ok.  It had to be.

For three more weeks I would see her - in the waiting room, in the elevator, at the vending machine. Floor six was our neighborhood.  We had a kinship.  She would catch my eye and smile.  We didn't feel the need to start a conversation.  We both knew we were too weary for that.  

Waiting outside his room... waiting for him to come up from PACU.... waiting for his bed to roll by, so I could grab his hand, see his face, breathe again... Kindred Spirit appeared.  For the first time in three weeks, her brown eyes sparkled, the burden was gone.  I felt a pang of jealousy that washed away quickly when I realized we were on the same road.   I saw what relief looked like - I wanted it too.  Just like how she wanted a cup off coffee that morning.  It's all too much.

"We are going home"  she shyly said.  "I wanted to say good-bye ..... "

She finally told me her story.  Her boyfriend fell while mountain climbing and shattered both his legs.  They had been here three weeks.  He had to have donor bones implanted.  He can walk. No nerve damage.  I shared with her mine.  Surgery was a success.... a few more days and we should be able to go home.   As we hugged, and said good bye, my love was wheeled past me in his bed and returned to his room.  I felt air return to my lungs.  She looked back as she walked down the hall to press the elevator button one last time..... And she knew - I'll be ok.

Paradise is Here, Paradise is Now.... Paradise is a Kindred Spirit.


  1. It is amazing that two people can be mutually supportive and similar in such a familiar way without uttering a word. I'm glad he sweetie was on the way home and yours close behind.

  2. Thanks so much Amberr - Welcome to Paradise =)

  3. You made me cry Priscilla. It really is an amazing thing to feel a connection with a complete stranger and without words, know you're walking a very similar path and feeling a very similar feeling.

    I love the photo at the bottom.


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