I wish I had gotten his name. He was 72 and so was his wife. In all those years she had kept all her teeth. He wasn’t so lucky. He looked great for his age. He had 2 grown sons that I’m pretty sure he was trying to hook me up with since they “had a complexion like” mine. He seemed to choose otherwise when he found out how old I was. His youngest was 48, perhaps a little old for me,and he lived in Texas, a little far of a commute. I also learned that one was a stock broker and the other managed hospitals, both out of work. “Things are bad now in this country, ” he said. Talk about being fully present. I had gotten on the bus with full intention to write drafts of emails I was crafting when something told me to sit in the seat near the front. The bus was pretty empty so I didn’t think it would make much difference. It made a difference to him.
He was looking for someone to talk to. He was very sweet and I could tell that he had tried to engage the other 3 people on the bus to no avail. My theme for the week is NOW. So I put my phone down and listened to him.
His wife was newly diagnosed with cancer. I assumed Breast cancer but he didn’t specify. She had already had surgery and was doing the chemo part at Sloan Kettering. She was excited about the donuts on the 6th floor. Whatever keeps her smiling! Sometimes it’s just the little things.
Whether you acknowledge it or not, we are all connected. The universe asked me to sit there in that seat though any other time I would have sat way in the back by myself. For those few minutes, I was to take care of that man with smiley blue eyes. We are all friends and that man is someone’s father, someone’s husband, someone’s friend. I may never see him again but for those moments we were connected. I could have missed that comment buried in a book or in my phone, but NOW was all I had with him. How many NOWs do you miss with the people you love in your life?