Blood Draw

I have a morning routine. I would guess most of us do. My 17 year old’s routine seems to consist of hitting snooze and then running around like a headless chicken. Mine involves getting up at 530, having coffee, catching up on the news, friend’s social media posts, and ok playing this one game I have played for 178 days straight (don’t judge) for the first 30 minutes of the days. It is the calm before the day’s storm.

Today was a fasting blood draw. One can only imagine how that messes with my morning routine… no coffee, no veggie juice, no oatmeal. Sipping ice water while reading the news… ah delightful.

Needless to say by the time I got to the lab this morning, I wanted my blood gone and to be in the coffee line. Stat! Today was a tech I had not had before, lovely person… very, very talkative. The type where your presence is really all that is needed; no words. As she was telling me one story and then another about trying things that had happened to her the last few days (she was coming off two week vacation) but in a very positive roll with it way; it was apparent she was a person of very strong faith. Not in your face, you need to believe my way. But her faith was such a solid core part of her. And she reminded me so very much of my mother.

I’d been struggling a bit this season. Trying to give back and give in the right way of my time and my compliments. Doing Random Acts of Kindness. And normally all that helps, but this year, I still very much struggle. She mentioned in passing how things happen for a reason and you have to trust that reason even if you don’t know it. The draw was painless and fast. And she put on the folded gauze and tape and said “oh wait honey no one leaves me without this” and she drew a smile on the makeshift band aid.

I got up out of the chair, put on my scarf and put on my gloves and went over to her and I said with tears in my eyes, “thank you, I really needed you in my life today” and she got tears in her eyes and we hugged. Really hugged. Like you would hug a dear friend who was going away for a bit or your child as they headed off on a long trip. We wished each other well and a Merry Christmas. And I left. I sat in my car and cried a bit.

I’ve mulled the encounter, dissected the encounter, tried to figure out what I was to learn, do next with this encounter…as I am known to do. And I have decided, it is like the coffee I buy for people behind me. I never expect there to be free coffee for me at the window, but I do it often for others. Maybe this was just a gift for me, a hug from a stranger that was really a hug from a loved one in disguise.

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