“The measure of love is to love without measure.”
St. Francis de Sales
(wild turkey Cades Cove, The Great Smokies National Park, Tennessee /Julie Coo / 2015)
Late one afternoon last week, I had a doctor’s appointment.
It was one of those late in the day appointments that kind of puts a kink
in the entire day…. as in you have to be dressed and ready to go all while making
certain that you aren’t doing anything else that causes you to overrun the appointed time.
You know how doctor’s offices can be…
Either they scold you for running late… as in the receptionist will either
actually say something about how you’ve messed up everyone else by being late,
or rather she will just give you that stare of annoyment while curtly
asking for your insurance information.
Or even worse…they’ll fine you for missing the appointment because
they canceled it when you weren’t there on the dot.
Never mind that you will proceed to sit for hours waiting to finally be seen
despite your punctuality.
I arrived right on time but noticed that the office seemed rather
sparse for that time of day.
This was actually an appointment that had to be rescheduled following my nerve block
as the two coincided and they couldn’t work me in for a solid month,
so I’ve had to wait and wait….
I am happy I wasn’t in total dire straights.
The receptionist asked which doctor I was to see.
When I told her she informed me that he was actually in a different office
in another town that day.
“What’s your birthday so I can look up your time…”
I gave it to her while I was now almost certain that for some reason,
maybe the fact that my brain no longer worked,
the appointment was actually to be the following day…
the day I was having to be Atlanta with Dad.
Sure enough it was.
Despite my having gotten the text to confirm the day and time…
despite that the date being marked on my calendar and
despite my cell phone alerting me when to go…
So since I now had to cancel the now following day’s appointment, again,
as I had to be with Dad,
the earliest available was not for another full month…
maybe I will be in dire straights by then…
Anywhoo, I exited the office now mad.
Mad at myself…
mad at my crazy life…
and mad that the doctor can’t seem to see me for months at a time…
Aggravated, I got in the elevator with my nose to my phone making certain
I was putting the new date and time in correctly.
I was so preoccupied that I didn’t notice the man coming out of the
same office I had just exited,
right behind me as he entered the elevetaor with me.
I pushed the ground floor and was taken aback a bit when I realized I wasn’t alone.
I asked the gentleman which floor he needed.
He told me the ground floor.
We all know how awkward it can be with just two strangers on an elevator together…
as in what do you say, what to you do, where do you look…I put down my phone and
asked my elevator mate if he was having a good day.
“Oh yes mam I am” he said with a distinct country accent.
Here in the south, true southerners either have a deep southern drawl
or one that is what is considered more country then southern.
Much to my mother’s disdain, when she first met my husband,
who was at the time my fiancé of their first meeting,
his accent was and still is more country than was her very genteel southern intonation.
My elevator mate was wearing a green and white checked shirt, neatly tucked into his
nicely pressed blue jeans.
He was an older black man, graying throughout his neatly cut hair.
He was rather thin yet spry and was squinting in the dimly lit elevator…
all while ginning from ear to ear.
“I don’t have to come back for 6 more months cause I just got me a good report from the doctor.”
“That’s great!” I injected, genuinely happy for him because I know all too well
about those bad reports.
“Ever since that operation when he cut on my stomach,
I’ve quit hurting and I”ve gained 10 pounds in a month’s time!
I aint scrawny no more!!!” he proudly boasted.
I told him that that was great and now he’d be able to truly enjoy his Thanksgiving.
“Oh yes mam I plan to…”
By now we were both making our way toward the parking lot.
As we exited the building, I noticed that it was a very warm late fall afternoon.
The sun was shining yet heading deep toward the west while there was a warm breeze blowing.
“Isn’t it a beautiful day” he announced more than asked…
as I respond that that indeed it was.
I added “it certainly doesnt feel very fall like since we’ve not had any fall
or winter-like weather.
“Well that’s about to change this weekend because it’s going to be cold on Sunday.”
I’ve not paid much attention to the weather as of late as we are in an extremely
unseasonable spell of warm weather that is actually hot and dangerously dry.
“Yes mam, but until then, you enjoy this nice weather and you have yourself a
good Thanksgiving holiday.”
“And I hope you do too….”
And with that we went our separate ways.
Suddenly I forgot that I had been mad, aggravated or feeling frustrated that
I’d wasted the better part of the day with stupidity…
Because in that elevator I had met a spry and happy reminder to the things in our lives that truly matter….and it didn’t have anything to do with missed appointments…
it really did…
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.