Life Lessons

There's nothing like a family medical crisis to put life in perspective. Blogs and books fade far into the distance. Errands go undone. To-do lists are ignored. Housekeeping becomes a lost art. Even clients and paying projects are left to simmer on the back burner.

Last Friday, my husband's routine (supposedly) one-and-a-half-hour outpatient procedure turned into a four-and-a-half-hour ordeal. I spent a lot of time stalking doctors and nurses to no avail, reading, praying, trying to meditate and failing miserably, pacing the very small waiting room like a caged animal, riding the St. Joseph lobby elevator, and searching the hospital's various cafés for a decent cup of tea.

It was while I was making one of my many elevator jaunts that the Universe stepped in with a life lesson. (They keep coming; guess Im a slow learner.)

I was just about to push the "close" button when a female voice asked me to hold the door. Stifling a small burst of irritation, I obliged, then watched as a sixty-something woman escorted a man with a walker to the corner of the elevator and went back for a sweet-faced elderly woman in a wheelchair. The escort smiled her gratitude for my very, very small kindness and explained: "Thanks for helping. It's difficult. Max over there is blind and his wife, Anna, can't walk."

We chatted. I held the door as the woman helped her charges out into the lobby, one at a time. And when I walked out of the elevator, I felt strangely calm and troubled at the same time.

Despite the difficulties my husband and I are facing right now, I find myself thinking about Max and Anna. A lot. Wishing them well. Wishing I could have done more for them. And thanking them for giving me a yardstick of suffering against which to measure my own problems. Those problems seem a lot smaller and more manageable now.


Back to the blog, with practical guidelines for writing those must-have book proposals, courtesy of author and writing mentor Mark Shaw. Plus a glimmer of good news on the Mantra for Murder front!



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