I ran into someone today. Just as she turned to look at me, I noticed her, too. Her face lit up and she embraced me, like an old friend.
Because I used to see her, once a month, for two years. And she’d always greet me with a friendly face and goofy story, probably her way of trying to mix a little lightheartedness with the heavy smell of the alcohol swabs and chemicals. She’d describe the latest antics of her crazy husband in such an animated way that the needle in my chest was like another member of the audience rather than an intrusion. I’d glance at the old woman in the chair next to me, the scarf around her bald head, the blanket tucked under her chin, sleepy, yet alert enough to follow along. Truthfully, all of us welcomed this distraction. She probably knew that.
She asked if I still had it. I covered my chest with my hand and smiled as I answered.
I thought about this bond we shared, as I walked to my car. And the depth of our connection I didn’t know, ten minutes earlier, even existed.
She’s one of my heros.