In the middle of Walgreens, I blurted out, “Aren’t you the woman who had twins?” The woman’s quizzical look turned to instant connection, though she couldn’t remember my name nor I hers. Mary (we refreshed each others memories) and I had briefly hung out while I was pregnant with my twins. At the time, Mary’s twins were 5 years old, and I looked at her as a heroic pioneer who could impart invaluable information about the new and scary terrain into which I was heading.
Mary had given me her twin nursing pillow, and a lot of encouraging advice like, “When you are walking through the Giant Eagle exhausted and weary, hold your head proudly and think ‘I am a mother of twins and surviving!’”
Even after we lost touch, Mary's kindness and wise words sustained me, especially when I did hit those weary days. Mary never knew until that drugstore encounter 11 years later what a positive impact her small comments and gestures had made.
The point is: We are all connected. The little things we say and do have an impact of which we may never be aware. People that you think are out of your life may well swing back in at some point down the road. In fact, when it comes to connections, I think life is more of a looping spiral rather a straight line. People loop in and loop out, but they are never really gone.
It is not always easy to remember that connectedness in any particular moment. If we did, there are probably lots of things we wouldn’t do, like the dirty look to the slow driver ahead of us or the impatient words to the new clerk at the grocery store. I am guilty of both, and I’ve been the recipient of both. Neither the giving nor the getting feels very good.
This month, for Wise Women, I had the privilege of covering two women who have a unique sense of that connectedness. I interviewed Dorit Brauer of Scott Township, who seems to be “in the moment” at all times and is hyper-aware of that universal connectedness. She is also just a very interesting person. Here is the article. Local writer Fran Joyce interviewed Rev. Kimberly Greway of Dormont, who is Chaplain at the Allegheny County Jail. Greway’s connectedness to “the least, the lost, and many times, the forgotten” is inspiring and humbling. Please read.
I guess it gets back to that universal “do unto others” concept (so easy to say, not so easy to live by). Kindness is worth it, because you never know at what point someone will loop back into your life.