I Just Let Her Talk
On Sunday, I had the opportunity to sit & talk with a woman that I believe God destined for me to meet 6 months ago. We originally met at a conference luncheon and happened to sit at the same table. She was there with her husband who I assumed was in poor health as he moved slowly and as she was the one who went to the buffet line at least 3 times to get his food, her food, and drinks.
He didn’t talk much, so she and I just started chatting. I told her some things about myself. She shared that they were traveling from Atlanta; that she had 5 sons but lost her oldest a few years ago; and that they would be celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary the following month in October. I mentioned that I’d be visiting Atlanta soon and she immediately wrote her home & cell phone numbers on a napkin and told me to call when I made it in town. I couldn’t help but get a warm feeling as I talked to this sweet lady.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see them on that trip as they lived far from where I stayed with my friend/chauffeur but we talked and exchanged email addresses and promised to keep checking on each other. And we have; not a lot but I’ve called whenever she crossed my mind and she’s also reached out to me a few times. So, I was happy to get her email that they would be in town for a few days for another conference.
I had driven from Maryland into DC that morning and spent much of the day traveling around the city but I drove back to Northwest to make sure that I at least stopped to say Hi and talk for a few minutes. When we saw each other, she gave me one of those big grandma hugs. We sat and caught up; I told her what’s been going on with me and then I just let her talk. And I’m so glad I did.
She shared many stories with me about:
Heartbreak: How she lost her son and nephew a year apart to heart disease
Longevity: How God is the reason they’ve been able to stay together for 55 years
Tough Love: How she’d rather “have an angry husband than a dead husband” in her attempts to get him to follow the doctor’s orders
Sadness: How she tried to mend a relationship with a family member over a misunderstanding but is letting God work and praying that they’ll become close again
Humility: How she lovingly reminds her husband (who’s a lawyer & public servant) and her son (who’s a CEO) that they are not self-made men but that God deserves credit for their successes
Divine Intervention: How God will place the right people at the right time in your life
Purpose: That I should pursue my passions and the things that bring me joy
Sacrifice: As if all the other examples aren’t enough, the only reason why she came to this conference was to look after her husband in case of an emergency. And this is on top of being tired from his surprise tribute party the previous weekend that took her a year to plan.
Clearly, she’s a woman who knows that God is her source and her strength. And I pray for that level of commitment when I get married and continued sustenance from God.
I’m so humbled that she thought enough of me 6 months ago to want to stay in touch and share her time. I didn’t plan to spend 2 hours but I’m blessed that I was able to be in her presence and gain some wisdom. And since my grandmother and great aunts are no longer alive, it felt good to be around someone who could serve in that role.
And as she walked me back to the lobby door, she gave me another one of those big grandma hugs and a kiss on the cheek, and I got that warm feeling again.