Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Strange Ties That Bind

Today was a good but rough day.  I was tired and stuck in a conference room that had no windows all day.  I knew it was nice outside - I drove to work with the sunroof open.  I wanted to be out in the sun, not sitting in a meeting.  But it's my job so there I sat.

At lunch, everyone was deciding where to go.  Luckily, I brought my lunch.  The good thing about this healthy living thing is now I make careful decisions.  I think about what I'm eating before I eat it so I don't make decisions while starving or from a vending machine.  So today I brought fruit and half the portion I would normally eat of a Trader Joe's thai pasta salad.  It was surprisingly satisfying.  Mostly I wanted to get the hell out of the room.  I wanted air.  So everyone left for lunch and I went on my walk,

It wasn't a long walk.  But it was warm and sunny.  Once I got out of the parking lot, I found beautiful trees.  This area is mostly industrial and medical offices.  There weren't many people around, just cars.  Still, it was pretty.

On the way back, a woman came up to me and started talking to me.  Among other things, she told me she saw the same tree that caught my eye and she had to take pictures of it.  She walked a few steps with me, telling me that her mom was in the car waiting for her.  This woman was maybe 5 years or so older than me.  She was bringing her mom home from the hospital.  She wanted to make sure he mom saw the leaves but she was frail and couldn't get out of the car.  I know this story.

 I told her I knew the story because I, too, have a mom who can't walk around but enjoys seeing things.  I told her of the drive my mom and I took on Monday in Olney, Brookeville, Sunshine and the surrounding areas.  After a few pleasantries were exchanged and as she walked back to her car, she called over to me, wishing me a good afternoon and "good luck with your mom."

It's a strange feeling of camaraderie. I noticed it when my mom was in the hospital last year.  The children of the injured elderly person all nodded at each other.  After a few days of seeing each other hour after hour, we'd start a pretty basic conversation.  We never asked what happened to the patients.  We didn't talk about our roles in the family.  We talked about where to find the decent coffee and which vending machine wouldn't eat our coins.  We all had an idea what each of us was experiencing.  None of it was fun.

I'm betting this woman isn't used to it yet.  She'll get there.  And I hope she finds more pretty trees to enjoy.  They help.

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