Saturday, May 28, 2011

Communion, in an unlikely place.

The other day, while at the hospital, I noticed a sweet looking older lady, soft blond hair, bright eyes, moving about with purpose, and a deep sorrow in those eyes.She spoke to me as I sat in the Family Waiting Room with two of my dear Korean nieces.We ended up discussing books, this stranger and I.... "Hi, I'm Lisa." "I'm Frances", she said, softly, and politely...Seems she enjoys reading about Asian culture, and so I shared a few titles I thought she'd enjoy.Worried she'd forget the titles, I offered to jot them down. I handed her the list(among them, the Pulitzer-prize-winning author, Robert Olen Butler, who penned the vietnam-centric, "Good Scent From A Strange Mountain", a collection of short stories. And another author, and book I'll disclose in a moment)a business card, and explained that I was here in the hospital, because of my in-laws being injured in the horrific accident on Monday evening. She was there, she said, tears beginning in her eyes, because her (elderly) husband had suffered a seizure, and she hoped he would open his eyes soon, and be able to speak soon.
When she saw my name on my card, she gasped."I am your neighbor...we live in the same neighborhood; I recognize your name, Lisa."(I write updates on the film industry, and occasionally write articles on beauty and skin care,for our Neighborhood Newsletter).
"What?"
"I'm Frances[last name]"
Quickly, I shouted,
"Yes, Frances and Irv [last name]"
"How did you know my husband's name?From his work on HOA board?"
"No, I'm not involved at all, in that...I have looked through our Neighborhood Directory, and my memory is very, very good..if I see something in print, Frances, I can recall it pretty easily.When you said your last name, I immediately saw in my mind, Irv and Frances [last name].
I explained how odd it felt,meeting after 6 years of living somewhere, your neighbor(they live two streets over, have lived there for 7 years).
We talked about our injured relatives; I confided I was worried about my Mother-in-law, about her needing help afterwards.(I secretly worried whether I am up to the task).....and then I told Frances about that book, the one I'd picked up for my in-laws, and for me, to read, just last week.The book, by a female Korean author, is her first which has been translated into English. The book I discovered, that my Mother-in-Law's best friend had coincidentally mentioned, as my Mother-in-Law,Omma K. spoke to her from our home, to hers(my Omma K.'s friend lives in Los Angeles), and her friend joked, "Tell your daughter-in-law I read this new book from my iPad, like the young people." She said she'd already read it in Korean, but wanted to experience it, in English. I learned of this through my Father-in-Law, who told me how I should "Go ahead and read it first, Lisa.Omma K. is too hurt, she won't be able to read it anytime soon."
It was then that I discovered why I had picked up the book, long before Monday's accident occurred.I understood some of what I'll be doing, with my Omma K., to help her heal....I'll be reading to her,and with her. And this book, the one I'd spotted last week, that I instinctively wanted, knowing nothing about it, or the author? It was the title which had intrigued me:
"Please Take Care of Mom."
There was a quick hug, intiated by Frances, when we realized we were neighbors.After sharing the story of my injured mother-in-law, and the story that I would now read the story to her, as she recovers, I hugged my new friend, Frances, again.
This is what connection is made of.This is Communion.
Oh, and her husband, Irv? He opened his eyes, and spoke to her, that same afternoon.

8 comments:

Nan Collard said...

WOW and Right On! God knows I love 6degree events. Going to blog about it even. Its so prevalent in our lives and so welcomed. Nevermind, proof of an ultimate consciousness. And for you Lisa, a blessing in many ways, uh? You can start with reading and the rest will come to you...yay, blessing, blessing, blessing...just when you needed more strength. We're all sending you energy, sweet, sweet girl. What a blessing you are for all those people. Its the no-accidents thang. I'll share an amazing instant-energy booster for caregiver's...laugh therapy. LOL, like the Seinfeld episode...fake laugh til you find yourself REALLY LAUGHING. AMAZING, AND A NAP IS A GOOD THING TOO! Love, Nan

Lisa Allender said...

Nan-- thank you so much. It is odd how sometimes when we feel most alone, we feel a sense of Universe/God-presence, the most deeply.please DO mention my blog. It definitely cheers me when readers of my blog comment, and/or choose to "Follow" my blog. Peace to you.

Christine said...

Lucky for you to have such a good memory for the printed word. And how beautiful life can be when we feel the love of another person at the moment we need it most.

Now I know why I haven't been seeing all your interesting links on Facebook. I saw a health report on CNN last night and thought, Lisa would post that....

Hope your Omma and dad-in-law heal soon.

Lisa Allender said...

Christine--Hi there! Hope you are great.Thank you so much for posting a Comment here at my Blog, "Lisa Allender Writes".It means so much when folks comment. And yes...I'm "feeling the love" :D

Galen Pearl said...

Along the lines of Nan's comment, I wrote once about zero degrees of separation. I love your story, and I, too, delight in making those surprise connections. Hope all is well for your family.

Moddrunk said...

What a wonderful encounter you being you led to......I feel so inadequate when I comment on your incredible writing....I am repeatedly in awe of your talent(s)Lisa.

Lisa Allender said...

Galen Pearl--thank you so much. I love connecting.
As you may have already guessed.

Lisa Allender said...

Moddrunk-- thanks for compliment and yes! I am quite fortunate to have felt so connected... :D