I bought coffee for the woman behind me at a coffee shop yesterday. She came up to thank me as I was waiting for my drink. She shared that she’d lost her job the day before. She looked all dressed for work so I asked what she had planned for the day. She told me that she hadn’t told her husband yet because he was just diagnosed with cancer and they were weighing options regarding the tragic news. She was too afraid to upset him. So, she pretended to get dressed for work and left. I felt horrible for her.
I told her that I had a few minutes and if she wanted we could sit and chat about options. We did.
Married 5 years now, this is her second marriage. They had a bumpy start because of blended families, personal issues, etc., but they decided that their commitment to each other was more important than what was happening in their outside world. She said they had just gotten to a good place – took 4 years (they were together for 8 before they got married). She said she’d never been happier.
Now he was just diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer, they have 4 children, he’s on leave and she’s been “laid off.”
How could I help this situation? Why was this in front of me? For those of you close to me, you know I’m kind of at the end of my rope with these sorts of situations … but I just couldn’t do or say nothing. There was a reason why she was behind me in the coffee line. The reason was likely for her and for me (always is).
So, I suggested that she contact a friend of mine that I knew could help with some of the issues she was facing. I told her not to be afraid to tell her husband. I relayed a story about my own life, where I was afraid to share what I was feeling and it just caused more hurt and pain, not avoided it. I told her that if her relationship was as wonderful as she said, there would be some good news here. Love always prevails over trials.
Just then her husband called. She looked at me, picked it up and spilled her guts. She started to cry. He said something. She said, “I love you too.” She got off and told me he was happy because now she could come home and be with him! He said they would figure it out. We got up, hugged and said good-bye.
Life is fragile. You think you have it all together. It’s all going smoothly and then bam – something happens to wake you up. Maybe it’s better to stay awake and appreciate what we have in the moment. Especially with the people in our lives. In the very end – it’s all you have.
Hug your loved ones today. And, have an amazing weekend!