i received two messages today.
the first one--a very exciting message that a friend's brother is returning to his wife and children here in the states after being deported wrongfully years ago.
the second one--a very sad message that a friend's friend and mentor is in the last days of her life after a courageous battle with cancer.
what is the same about these two messages? not a lot, though i would like to be able to reach out to both of them and squeeze them and sit with them in the waiting. so much of life is in the waiting. waiting for? something.
the big things? the big things come and go. it's the moments in between where so much of life happens--and when we need each other the most.
i'd bet someone you know needs a squeeze or a little hand-holding. we don't do life alone, but in community. and we can find our community anywhere, sometimes when we least expect it.
when my parents were hit head-on in a car crash in 2006, i found myself in a very strange community. a community of strangers in a ICU waiting room. ron was a man i first noticed one early morning--day two of my dad's ordeal. he was yelling at another man at about 3:00 in the morning. i was dozing on two chairs that i had smushed together. he pretended to call someone on his cell. he was a terrible actor. but he was scared and alone. later that morning he sort of tried to apologize to me--for the ruckus. no apology necessary. we were all in situations that we wished we weren't in. we all had lost control, control we all believe we have when life is flowing smoothly. ron's wife was in ICU with my dad for complications after a hysterectomy. he had four daughters. but, most days and every night he was alone. i asked him to sit with us. another group had lots of drama--fighting, yelling, screaming--pretty much daily and sometimes, nightly. it was a big family. they had decisions to make. they all thought they should be the decision maker. then one day, there was lots of commotion. a decision was made. by their person. the dad, husband, step-dad, grandpa, brother, uncle they had all been waiting for was dying. judy ran around the waiting room trying to get any cell reception. i gave her my phone and then physically caught her when she collapsed after telling her son that her father-in-law was dying....right now. the father-in-law she had told me days before, was more of a dad to her than her own father. later that night she found me in my dad's room--poking her head in she asked to talk to me. she hugged me for a really long time. you never know when you might be someone else's community. you never know that the little things you do may be what helps carry someone while they wait. you don't have to have the perfect words--or any words at all. sometimes, you just have to show-up for someone. however you can.