A few weeks ago, I was at the dreaded UCD hospital pharmacy picking up Drew's medication. It's the only pharmacy in our area that will make it. Anyway, as I'm standing in line, I noticed these parents and their newborn daughter in line. They looked tired. More than just "I've got a new baby" tired. I thought to myself that maybe they were being discharged from the NICU and were on their way home. Apparently their medication wasn't ready and they went to sit down right next to where I was standing. The mom was on her cell phone and I distinctly heard the words "heart murmur" and "congestive heart failure." I was pretty sure she was talking about the baby, but I wasn't trying to eavesdrop...so I had my prescription filled and started to walk out of the pharmacy. I wanted to say something to her, but what? Plus she wasn't talking to me, I just happened to hear her. And she was still on the phone, I didn't want to interrupt her. As I started walking outside I just felt like God was telling me to go back in there. I even stood still and thought "God, do you want me to go back in?" And I knew the answer.
So I happened to have a notepad and pen in my purse (this never happens) so I wrote down the blog address for Hearts of Hope and my email address. As I went back in, she was off the phone. I told her that I had heard some of what she said and asked if her daughter had a heart problem. She said she wasn't sure. I told her that my son was born with a heart defect and gave her the paper. I told her if she ever wanted to email me I'd be happy to talk with her. She asked how Drew was and I told her he's great, he's had a couple of heart surgeries, but he's happy and mostly healthy. I could tell that scared her. I didn't realize how new this diagnosis was to her.
As I left that day I felt good that I had reached out to someone, and that she was appreciative. I mean, she could've totally said "how dare you listen to my conversation!" But she didn't. I haven't heard from her since. I asked Valerie the other day if she'd heard from anyone new looking into our group and she hadn't. And I thought, well, even if I never hear from her at least she had someone on that day who cared about her. Maybe that helped a little bit.
Today we had to stop by the pharmacy to pick up some medication before we leave for my mom's house tomorrow. And you would not believe it, but the same woman was there! I didn't recognize her, but she recognized me. She said she was sorry she had not contacted me, but things had been hectic. She said she had looked at the website and was meaning to write to me. I told her not to worry about it, that I just wanted her to know that there were people who understand that she could talk to if she ever wanted to. She shared with me that she didn't even know what her daughter had that day. They had just found out and were shocked and confused. And she thanked me for taking the time to talk to her.
And I feel blessed. I am so glad that I was able to help someone else out, even if it's only to let them know they are not alone. The very fact that she remembered me means that our exchange was meaningful to her. As we celebrate Christmas we are celebrating the birth of Christ. And the most important thing he told us to do was to love one another. This Christmas season I am so grateful that through our trials and suffering we have been able to show Christ's love to others. Because without going through those things, I wouldn't have been able to do that.
May you experience the true meaning of Christmas this year.