Several friends have asked why would I of all people would reach out to a total stranger as i did yesterday. I was the perfect person to reach to him. Even I did not understand why until this morning when I read the following…
“Sometimes you really feel alone with your pain, like no one’s there to comfort you in just the way or ways you need.”
— Allyson (part of her comment on yesterday’s Random Acts post)
Dear Lord, how many of us have felt like this over our lifetimes?!
It took Allyson’s comment to bring back a memory…
The week I went back to work after my husband passed away, I was that man on the subway. No sound, no heaving shoulders, just tears I could not stop from streaming down my face for a few minutes. Unlike the guy from yesterday, this was still winter, I had no sunglasses to hide behind. I couldn’t even pretend I was reading a book and something moved me to tears. I was just sitting there crying.
On a crowded New York City subway during rush hour all alone and no one said a word to me.
I accidentally caught the eye of a woman sitting across from me. She realized I saw her and she immediately looked away. Not just averted hers eyes, but turned her entire face to look elsewhere. I could not decide if she was embarrassed at having been caught looking at me or if she hoped she didn’t add to my embarrassment by being witness to it.
As I stated above, the whole thing was only for a few minutes. Three or four train stops at the most before I was as back under control as I could be given the situation. By the time I made it home, no one who had not seen it first hand was the wiser. I put the whole thing behind me until now, this being the very first time I have ever spoken about it.
I had put it so far out of my mind, that even yesterday, it did not register as I responded to another crying soul on the subway; at least not consciously. But obviously the soul remembers, even what the mind does not. I would like to think I still would have responded thusly to the guy yesterday regardless of the coincidence of our situations.
I responded to another that the Powers-That-Be arranged it so that I would be the one standing in front of him. Who knew they kick-started this moment years ago? Ah, karma, sometimes it’s not always a bitch.
In my life, every bad thing (and there seems to be more than one person can bear) that I’ve experienced has at least served to teach me a lesson. But also, has given me an ability to reach out to someone who I would not have been able to, had I not experienced that first, myself. I completely understand and as for me, am a better person for it.
Ah, CP, have recoiled, laughed, cried and rejoiced from the writings of your blog, I knew you would be one to understand this. Thank you.