i had one of those days where my face hurt from smiling so much. (and maybe from running 5 miles in 30-degree cold this morning.)
a few weeks ago a guy at the gym struck up conversation with me. it was a thursday night and i was waiting to teach my 7pm yoga class. it was also the week i popped through scar tissue in my knee and was still in a lot of pain, so i was sitting outside the studio icing down. he asked about my knee, we got to chatting, and it turns out he had been to the same PT clinic i attended. he runs as well, so we chatted about that. he’s on faculty at the university and was super-friendly. we talked running shoes, PT, racing.
he asked about my necklace.
i told him.
the next two thursdays we would run into one another at the same time and chat. he always asked how my dad was. wished me a happy thanksgiving.
this morning, randomly, he was at the gym lifting. i went down to the floor at 6:30ish and we bumped into one another. chatted, caught up (we haven’t seen one another since the week before thanksgiving), and since we probably won’t see one another until after the break, wished each other happy holidays. and then less than a minute later he walked back over to me and said, “i don’t know how to say this delicately, but i’ll have some special thoughts and prayers for you and your family on this first christmas.”
i have not been so touched in quite some time. if it weren’t for the fact that i was about to do a set of dips, i would have probably burst into tears. and as the day went on, it made me think.
…about the faculty members here, in my department, who were so wonderful last semester. not just when my mom passed, but also after my surgery – taking turns driving me to PT, my advisor coming with me to the hospital and stocking my fridge while i was in surgery, covering my students’ final exam for me.
…about my friends, former students, and yoga students who came to keep me company, buy me ice cream, and watch movies with me while i was gimped out.
…about my advisor who, from her summer home in wisconsin, texted me on mother’s day to let me know she was thinking of me.
…about the other TAs who sent a beautiful flower arrangement to the funeral home.
…about one of my students who sent flowers to my apartment the day after my surgery.
…and just in general, about the people in my life who could have skirted by all of the mess that was ME earlier this year, and it would have been totally understandable. but instead i have been blessed and surprised and so humbled, over and over.
i have lost a lot this year, but i have gained so much room in my heart for all of the amazing people who have opened their hearts to me.