An ache in a crowded room

Wrapping my gown around me, I stepped into the inner room, the room reserved for women like me. Women about to have a mammogram (the mamm-o-slam, as I affectionately call it).

Chilled, and feeling a bit awkward, I smiled and relaxed when another lady grinned my way.

“Hi.” she said.

“Hi there,” I said back.

“How are you doing today?”

“Oh, good, good, how are you doing?” I asked.

“I’m fine but boy, it sure is cold in here.”

And so on we went with our easy banter.

She motioned to all the ladies magazines laid out for us to read.  I chuckled and said I couldn’t hope to enjoy them without my glasses, the same glasses buried deep in my purse in the locker down the hall.

Laughing, she offered, “I know what you mean, some days I wonder what’s left that I can see.”  And when she tilted her head just so, the image of that coupled with her kind eyes and warm smile reminded me of my oldest sister.

And it was in that moment that I felt it.

A pinch.

A longing for her so deep that I nearly cried.

I didn’t say anything.

I just sighed and sat with it.

I sat there with my ache in a crowded room.

Has a stranger’s kindness ever both uplifted you and broke your heart?

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:2

me, Pat and Charlie the dog

me and my sis and Charlie the dog

Categories: Beauty, Faith, Family, Friendship, Growth, Home, Life, Love, Relationships, Self Discovery, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 27 Comments

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27 thoughts on “An ache in a crowded room

  1. Aw….this is so sweet. Sometimes a stranger has no idea how they’ve struck a chord with us.
    Love the picture; so beautiful: both….no, all three of you…
    Happy Friday, MJ.

    • Thank you; that moment stayed with me. We really connected on such a simple level and I will keep that with me as a reminder that it’s possible. MJ

  2. Your post touched me. It is also a beautiful picture. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Oh, your words certainly made me tear up, MJ. Very sweet and such a lovely sentiment.

    • Aww, thanks. She’s very dear to me — she loves me for me, and we can be silly together. I miss her so much; not seeing her and Mom very much make me regret moving so far from family. MJ

  4. Couple of years ago, I found myself lying on an examining table, making small talk w/ the nurse before they put me out for a colonoscopy. It was my first one and I was inwardly anxious for multiple reasons….she had covered me w/ a warm blanket, asked me what I did for a living, etc. somehow the conversation turned to spiritual things..(she did it not me) and @ that moment I felt a connection to her that you are describing here…I felt like this caring woman was a sibling, a younger sister in the Lord, genuinely cared what I was feeling, and….I drifted off to lala land feeling enveloped w/ warmth and love On a completely related note…Mrs DM had her annual “mammo-o-slam” yesterday as well. Not one of her favorite activities I would have to say. Thanks for including us in your life! DM

    • Oh you said it perfectly, DM … we had a soul connection. I love that, and I love that your nurse was caring in a way that is right for you. My sister is also a nurse. 🙂 MJ

  5. Great photo. There’s a new instructor who comes into the office and oh she sounds just like Rick’s cousin who we love so much. I commented “You sound just like my husband’s cousin,” I told her. “Is she from West Texas?” “Yes, El Paso.” Since then we’ve always shared conversation as we go through the term.

  6. Angels do walk among us…..beautiful post 🙂

    • Agreed. This lady was just lovely – she was friendly and warm and caring … and just what I needed that day, I think.


  7. I second Stacia’s comment. Angels are with us, and your sister paid you a visit. So glad you noticed. Lovely.

    • Yes; it’s not often I cave into what I really feel about being so far from her and my Mom .. the rest I love, of course, but don’t have the same relationship with. My heart aches for her. MJ

  8. Willard McDonald

    Wow, What a good lookin Pair of Gals, xoxo + Hugs too. Unc.

    Sent from Mac’s IPAD

  9. That is a great picture. It’s getting close to that time of year for me, too.

    • Thank you; we have a lot of fun together. She’s a riot to travel with, and I’m hoping to do some of that with her this year. 🙂 MJ

  10. Years ago on December 24 (my daughter’s birthday), I was rushing around finishing up last-minute shopping and party prep. I don’t like shopping. It’s torture for me on a good day, but at Christmas – nightmare! Of course, I had to stop for those few last minute things at the grocery store. It was the LAST thing I wanted to be doing. I was tired, grumpy, and I just wanted to be home.
    At the check-out the cashier cheerfully asked me how I was doing. I said, “I’ll be better when I get home.” She said, “You don’t know that. Maybe this is the best moment you’ve got.”
    She stopped me cold with my hand in mid-air holding a loaf of bread. Of course she was right. I had no idea what would happen next in my life. Maybe I’d leave and get in a car accident, or I could arrive home to find my house burned to the ground.
    When she said it, I completely relaxed. All tiredness and grumpiness gone. I really did feel like an angel had stepped in to give me a good shake.
    She still works at the store, and whenever I shop, I always go to her cash, even if it has the longest line.

    • Wow! What a powerful and astute statement — and so very true. None of us knows, do we. This could be as good as it is 🙂 Lesson = enjoy the moment.

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Arlene. I had chills just reading it 🙂


  11. How sad and lovely. I usually avoid crowded rooms because it is there that I am most alone.

  12. And you wonder how in the world two strangers could sometimes feel more connected and in tune with one another than you sometimes feel to people who have been in your life for its entirety? I’m glad you met this lady and hope the mamo ‘slam’ wasn’t too treacherous. Love that name for it!

    • Yes, that’s exactly it, Renee. Like others said, it was meant to be. I really do feel that, sounds a little silly, but I do believe others are put in our path for a reason. I think I was meant to explore those feelings, those ones I’ve pushed aside for so long b/c the situation isn’t easily changed.

      The name (mamm-o-slam) is my way of adding some levity and control to a procedure I don’t imagine anyone enjoys. That + some Advil and I am none the worse for the wear 🙂 MJ

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