Monday was not a pleasant day. There were many reasons. . .most of them small and annoying and inconvenient. . .one of them expensive. . .several hormones involved. You get the picture. There was to and fro-ing and sit-down-and-be-quieting and haven’t-I-already-told-you-to-spit-out-your-gumming and “What do you MEAN you don’t have a shuttle service after 3:30 so I can get back to your dealership to pay you the amount I would rather spend on tree house materials to replace the wheel of my car that a pothole ate-ing!!!” As Mandisa would say, “It’s only the world.” And my world is pretty beautiful as it is. . .but that day my aura (have GOT to tell you that story) was more puce than pink.
After I plunked down the treehouse in the form of a Mastercard on the counter at the Kia place to get my car back, I called Tony and said, “I am going to go get a glass of tea and sit still for a minute.” And he, having been privy to at least two sets of tears over the phone that day said, “I think you’ve earned it.”
I stopped at a Tex-Mex place I’ve only been to once, ordered my tea, salted my chips and then went ahead and got a spinach enchilada to go with it. After that I needed to go to Wal-Mart, but I went to the Hallmark store instead. Then I went to Petco to comparison shop some cat food (saved $7.00. . .but about that amount was eaten by the racoon that gnawed it’s way through the plastic storage container later that night. . .humming Mandisa). Then I headed home. Skipped Wal-Mart altogether so that Monday–somewhere– Sarah was feeling happy and didn’t know why.
I headed home high on chips and tea and Hallmark figurines and exited my normal exit. However, rather than taking a left at the “shorter short-cut”, I decided to take the LONGER short-cut. . .I was in a twisty, turny mood that day. (Yes, MaryLinda–even MORE twisty, turny than the way I drove you and Steph.)
As I approached the road onto which I would FOR REAL turn (not just twist and curve), there was a car ahead of me at the stop sign. I think nothing of this. Then I notice that the driver of the car–something foreign and silver maybe–is looking in her rearview mirror at me and saying something. I check. I’m not on her bumper. Next thing I know, she opens her door, climbs out, turns my way with arms akimbo and mouths, “I’M LOST!!!!” I don’t blame her. It’s a very confusing place to be in this particular middle of nowhere.
I roll my window down as she approaches, ask where she’s been and where she’s headed. Discuss some options, etc. Then I notice her name tag. I didn’t even read the name on it. I stopped at “Hospice Care.”
Let that sink in for a moment.
I doubt that poor woman had been given the time much less a glass of tea that day. She, with her short red hair and bubbly, out-going personality, had sat at the bedside of someone who was dying. Someone who may or may not have been in and out of excruciating pain or consciousness or their mind. Someone who may or may not have had family nearby who may or may not have been a comfort to them. She may have had to manage way more pain that what her actual patient was going through. Either way–this gal had dealt with life and death that day, and if ANYONE deserved to not be lost 50 miles from home at 5:30 on a Monday evening, it was her.
I assured her that I could get her on the right path, “Follow me. . .I’ll take you there,” I said.
As I drove her the short distance to the FM road that would take her directly into rush hour traffic, I thought about the course of events that led me to that exact stop sign at that exact time. She, obviously, didn’t have a GPS (neither do I), and a cell phone wouldn’t have done her much good as we were literally in the middle of a T-crossing set of tiny, narrow, two-laned black top roads with only cows, goats, and a donkey or two to witness our conversation. The nearest gas station was 6 miles away and not even on that road, and there was NO direct route to the nearest freeway. Only more tiny, narrow, farm animal sprinkled roads to navigate.
Yet–by whatever course of events in my day, frustrating though it may have been, I had made small choices that let me cross the path of this hospice nurse who needed to get home.
Once we reached the road she needed, I pulled into the parking lot of our electric co-op, and she followed. We both rolled our windows down and chatted for a bit. . .she thanked me, then I told her about my frustrating day–briefly–and how this thing and that thing had led me to do things I normally don’t do. . .walk into a sit-down Tex Mex place after school for tea and chips. Stroll through the Hallmark store looking at various and sundries. Skip an errand I need to run altogether. Choose the less traveled scenic route of the three I could take home. I told her, that when I saw on her name tag, “hospice care”, it put my day into perspective, and that I had no doubt God had a hand in it. Or atleast, “all things worked together for good.”
She said, “Sister, you are right. I love the Lord, and I sure did need some help back there. I’ve done home health care for years, but this has been a trying day.” I told her that I love the Lord too–that it was my pleasure–to go home and be safe on her way.
I wish I’d been able to fix her a glass of tea.