I sit down to write this morning having two weeks in the rear without a word from these fingertips. To be very honest and transparent, I really have been going through a tough time. It seems that everywhere I turn I get knocked down, and quite honestly I have found it difficult to get back up!
Truly, I do NOT consider myself a “complainer” and I can generally stay motivated, positive, and take challenges on as a quest to defeat them… but it has, dog-gone-it [as we say in the deep south] been hard lately and I am a bit weary. “Burned out”…yes those would be the words!
But I woke up this morning and checked my Facebook page for any updates on my friend’s baby – Baby Susan – who was born way too early and has for the past 119 days been fighting for her life. Susan is the daughter of Sam and Angela Crowley from Cincinnati, Ohio. Born at just 1 pound, Susan’s fight-for-life journey has been followed by people from around the world as Sam has openly and desperately sought out prayer from the 100’s of 1000’s of his social media followers.
Sam “the Man” Crowley – The Everyday is Saturday Guy
You see, Sam is an extraordinarily gifted motivational speaker who speaks worldwide and is adored by many for his gift to uplift and encourage his listeners. Since Baby Susan has been born, Sam has been keeping his many followers on the day to day fight-for-life journey his fourth daughter Susan has been traveling. Given only a ray of hope for survival, Susan has taken her parents and medical staff through a series of emotional peaks and valleys. Her status has genuinely been touch-and-go at times, and Sam has been so incredibly raw about his feelings and emotions from day 1 by sharing with his multitude of followers. He posts daily and I so look forward to reading each day the miracles that are evolving for this family. One day not long ago Sam wrote about an encounter he had one day at the hospital. I thought about it today and thought it appropriate (with his permission, of course) to share with you. I myself needed to re-read this post to work on my own personal perspective. Here are the thoughts of my friend – Sam “the Man” Crowley:
“I had a brief encounter at the hospital a couple hours ago that still has my mind rattling, so I’m going to begin typing and just dump it all out here. I entered the elevator on floor 3, which is where the NICU is located. There was an older African American man on the elevator. He was well dressed. I took note of his cardigan sweater and his uncanny resemblance to Morgan Freeman. He seemed distracted. I said hello, he said the same, then he looked down and was preoccupied with something else. I could tell he was hurting. You almost become numb to the people who enter and exit the elevator crying. It doesn’t happen every day but it’s a frequent enough occurrence that you expect at least one person to be in tears inside of a full elevator car.
Back to the distinguished gentleman…. He continued to stare at the ground, clenching his fists and taking deep breaths. I was just about to say “Is everything alright?”….when the car stopped on floor one – where the cafeteria is located.
When the doors opened, he looked up and began to exit the elevator. He then wiped the tears from his eyes with a paper towel he had in his right hand. I could tell he got the paper towel from the men’s room because I’ve seen them 1,000 times since August. I’ve wiped tears from my face with those same paper towels on more than one occasion the past 90 days. My heart sank because I could tell he was fighting back tears of some devastating news he was just given about a loved one. Was it his wife? Son? Daughter?
I thought about how he was going to enter the cafeteria and give off an aura of ‘Don’t talk to me….’ and immediately be judged as guy in a bad mood. This man was hurting on a level that is difficult to understand unless you’ve walked in his shoes.
I wonder how many people we run into on a daily basis who are in a bad mood and we immediately judge them as being toxic? Yet, we don’t know the battle they’re facing, or the devastation that could have just entered their life. I know I’m guilty of this all the time. If someone doesn’t acknowledge my robust ‘Hello!” with an equally enthusiastic reply, I think ‘Cheer up, dude.’ Like I said, I’m just typing what’s on my mind. Writing is the doing part of thinking and I wanted to capture this before it left my aging mind. I’m not sure why I’m so impacted by a guy I’ve never met, will never meet and only shared an elevator for less then a minute. One reason could be because I am present for each moment of my life now. I don’t take days, hours or even minutes for granted. And I don’t take people for granted either. I can’t stop thinking of my ‘Morgan Freeman Friend’ and how he is having a really bad Wednesday. He’s probably still crying into a brown paper towel, feeling lost. There’s thousands of these people in our lives every year who would like nothing more than to know everything will get better. You don’t need money, fame or a fancy car to make a difference in their lives. I’m pretty sure a hug will do.”
Finding Your Blessing
I feel the lesson in this story is to constantly be seeking our hidden treasures. Sure, there are times when we just want to lie down and not get up. We get weary and burned out from the many life struggles that we face.
But I think if we really look for them there are hidden blessings all around us. For Sam and Angela it is having one more day with their baby girl. As for me, I am trying to put aside the situations that are wearing me down and focusing on all the many things that are going well for me.
- Work may been stressful – but I have a great job.
- Money may not be so plentiful – but my bills are paid.
- I may be tired – but I got up this morning!
I could go on, but when I think about it there are so many “Morgan Freeman” situations out there that are much harder to handle than mine. I have so much to be thankful for and I should be extending my hand to those not as fortunate. Looking for hidden blessings in the treasures of life…that is what I will do for Christmas!
Treasure hunting with you my friends,
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