My brother is so much like Mama. He regularly performs random acts of kindness, buying food for hungry folks, sitting and talking with the homeless, always, always thinking of others. I always say that I’m going to try to be like that and, this past weekend, I feel as if I came close.
I was out delivering Mama’s Treat Bags. We make them every holiday to give out to her doctor’s office and her friends at DaVita Dialysis, she did this in life and wanted us to carry on the tradition.
On this particular morning, I was visiting the dialysis folks and handed one of the bags to a woman whom I’d never seen before. I was struck by the way she grabbed for my hand to thank me – just like Mama used to grab my hand. I didn’t even ask her name. She told me that she had been in dialysis for a few weeks now and, as she grabbed my hand, she asks me, “was your Mom scared when she would come here at first?”
I started to tell this lady how Mama made the deal with us when it was time for her to do dialysis: that “if I have to go through this, so do all of you“, and for the first few months, one of us stayed right there with her the entire time she went through her treatment. I told her that Mama was very afraid at first and, while she never totally liked her time at dialysis, she was able to somewhat embrace her situation…until she decided that enough was enough.
The woman seemed to totally relate to what I was saying and she started crying quietly. I held her hand for a few minutes more and had the feeling that Mama was present there, helping to comfort this woman. I realized that, with every time I take out Mama’s treat bags, that I learn more about her journey, how, in many ways, she did this treatment for us more than for herself, how strong-willed she was, how else to explain the motivation it took for her to get up every day and soldier on, that my mother had so much faith, faith that it was all part of His plan. Also, I gain more admiration for my mother: as bad as she was feeling some days, she always wanted to make folks feel better, to not feel so alone in the world.
This nameless lady put me and my ego in check QUICK. She’s on a life-changing journey, and not an easy one. I felt happy that I made her feel better for those few minutes and she was able to not feel so afraid and alone. Who knows what her life is like? Who is there to make sure she eats before (or after) treatments? Does she drive to the treatments? Is her family supporting her? I have no clue. All I know is that I could sense that this woman was strong, strong enough to admit that she was afraid yet still there trying to get better.
I hope that I can see her next time I’m there. I’ll have to ask her what her name is.
Maybe I’ll show her this story.