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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Angels or Friends?

During the past few weeks, I've thought a lot about the people who have come into my life during this cancer journey. Some of them I have gotten to know through blogging, some through other cancer patients, and some I met at the Cancer Center. Each one has made a difference in my life in some way, whether it be through an encouraging card, a hug, a note, a gift, or by just being there. Last night, I thought about one person in particular --- her name is Teresa!

If you were a patient at this particular cancer center, you would have met Teresa on your very first visit. I remember that day so vividly, as it was NOT the happiest day of my life, believe me! I walked in the big, double glass doors, and went to the counter where the sign-in clip board was waiting for me. I signed my name, and put the pen down, and went to find a seat in the big waiting room. I noticed a blond gal open the glass window and reach for that sheet and cross my name off with a yellow marking pen. I later found out that her name was Teresa.

If you have been to one of these waiting rooms, you will know that these are not pleasant places. In fact, I was very much aware of the fact that no one made eye contact, no one talked with each other, and most looked very sick and miserable and in their own little world. And this with much reason to be this way. After all, they were all fighting for their lives, and I'm sure some were losing the battle. So. . . you would sit there and stare at your shoes until the big, heavy door opened and some cheerful, bright-eyed nurse called your name and you disappeared into the treatment part of the building.

I never had any other contact with Teresa during those first visits. I just knew she was there. . . until . . .

About half way through my treatment, I walked in for an appointment and there was a big desk in the waiting room. This was going to be Teresa's new place to work. After that day, she was always there at this desk, had her computer set up there, and was always busy doing something --- sorting mail, answering questions, checking on people's appointments, etc. At first, she seemed quiet, but pleasant. But I noticed as I came back time after time that things were changing in the waiting room. Teresa was beginning to know everyone by their first names and greeted each of us as we came in the door. She always asked how we were doing, remember something about us and engaged us in conversation. I know I immediately felt at ease with her, and soon was laughing and sharing stories about our growing up, etc. The whole atmosphere in the waiting room changed, and I noticed others more talkative and alive. It was no longer the waiting room for Heaven!

When I started radiation and had to go every single day, I actually looked forward to seeing Teresa. One day, I mentioned that I was soooooo very tired of wearing the "chemo hats" to cover my head. She asked if my hair was growing and I said yes, and whipped off my hat at that moment to show her. Her reaction was just so nice and encouraging that I never put it on again. I went home, dug out my make up, and decided I was going to be a woman again from that day on! Thank you, Teresa!!!

You know, I wonder if people really realize what an impact they make on a person's life! You don't have to be a doctor, or a chemo nurse to change someone's day! In fact, I probably had more contact with this one gal than I did with anyone else at the cancer center, and I always went away feeling a little more light hearted and encouraged because of her. I would have to say that someone saw something in her and knew that the best use of her talents would be right there in the waiting room where she could interact with patients when they first came in. Smart move!

I don't know what others saw when they looked at her --- just another employee? a receptionist? someone to answer questions? someone to open the mail? Somehow I remember looking at her closely one day ------ and I'm sure I saw wings!!!

Angel or Friend?
Someday I'll Know!

They come and go, more quickly than
I'd really like, you know.
Sometimes I know their names,
But mostly, when I'd least expect,
they go.
Sometimes they hug me tight,
Silent, but so loving as I cry.
And I go on again,
Strengthened when I thought
I'd only die.
Sometimes they rush into my life,
Bumping me, pushing,
And I see another way.
It's only when they're gone,
And the light from their fair lantern
lingers on,
I wonder, where I would have been
this day?
Are these chance meetings - fate -
or can it be
These are the angels God has promised me?
Are these friends - or angels - is it so?
Maybe not today,
Someday, I'll know!

--Cora Eelman

22 comments:

papel1 said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and glad to see you added to yours. Hopefully you are healing well.
Judy

Aliene said...

I love the story about Teresa. We never know how we affect others life's. By a smile, a hug, or just inter-acting day by day. Hope you are doing better now. You have been on my prayer list for quite some time. You have been an encouragement to me a lot of time. god bless you, Cora.

LindaSueBuhl said...

Absolutely - the Lord puts the right people in the right places for us. So glad there are many people ready to reach out - it takes so little to be kind to one another. You sound good - the poem is lovely and dadgumit we are glad to have Cora back.

Nicole said...

Thank you for sharing about Teresa. It really reminded me how significant each of our lives are, and how we don't always know how we have encouraged someone along the way.

How are you doing? Are you done with your treatment? No need to answer as I'm sure your previous post will tell me this.

PS-you have encouraged me in your journey. Particulary when you told me many months ago that each situation is a new oppurtunity to have faith verses fear.

Love in Him,
Nicole

Claudia said...

I'm crying as I type because your post touched me so very deeply. because I understand so much. Yes, so called "ordinary" people can make such a huge difference in our lives when we are fighting for even one more day.

*hugs* and thank you for showing how extraordinary YOU are.

Wanita said...

It's wonderful when the Lord puts a Teresa in our lives at just the right time.

Your poem was lovely. I hope you are feeling well.

Blessings,
Wanita

Daria said...

90s ... wow ... we are pretty cold here in Edmonton ... but 90s is too hot even for me.

Hope your air conditioning is in good working order.

Julie said...

What an amazing post!! I hope you let Teresa read it--she certainly sounds like an angel and you sound like a very grateful recipient of someone who took the time to "be nice to people". ;) Have a great day, Cora--I love reading your well-written thoughts. Julie

Bernie said...

Teresa could be both a friend and an angel and you my friend were so blessed to have her with you during an emotional time. You are blessed my friend to have had a Teresa in your life and I am so happy you did. Good health and many blessings......:-) Hugs

Nancy M. said...

It's amazing how much difference one person can make in the lives of others. I am glad someone was able to make your journey a little brighter. Great poem!

Joyfulsister said...

Hi Sis..

(((Hugz))) what a beautiful post, thank you for sharing Theresa with us today. Some how I just know the Lord puts people in the path of our journey. Our special angels!!. I'm glad you enjoyed my post "Dancing with the Holy Spirit. it was a writing that held such depth for me at the time I wrote it.

Luv Ya Lorie

Kath said...

ahhh-Angels!! They are EVERY WHERE!! :) God has a plan...and He puts those angels in our lives just when we need them most. All we have to do is SEE them :)
Teresa is an angel, indeed.
What a beautiful story, Cora...and beautiful poem.
I hope you're doin well.

Hugs and Prayers,
Kath

Linda / Behind My Red Door said...

Teresa is the right person for that job! WOW - just thinking about how many people she is helping is so encouraging and heartwarming. If only all cancer centers were that way!!

I hope you are doing well!!

hugs, Linda

This simple Life said...

Hello Cora, It was so nice to hear from you. Thank you for your kind words about my jewelry.

I believe that all people come into our lives serve a purpose. Wither it be to be our friend , our angles or to teach us a lesson.

Denise said...

This is beautiful...... Entertaining angels unawares...... HE sends into our lives those that fill our spirits with joy..... They are easy to spot.......

I have NOT forgot to send the second email........ YOU are on my heart!

Renna said...

Angels or Friends? Well, she was certainly a 'ministering spirit' to you and others!

The poem was beautiful. I hope you share it with Teresa!

Kathleen from Eggs In My Pocket said...

So enjoyed reading this as well as the poem. Hope this finds you doing well. blessings,Kathleen

Lea of Farmhouse Blessings said...

so touching

ByLightOfMoon said...

Cora, You story and beautiful poem fit what is happening to you and us everyday.

I too just going my way everyday that folks sometimes just ignore you like we aren't there.

I can't let that happen and always send a compliment or just a Hello and a smile!

But, you situation is unique only to those in your shoes and only You can tell a story with such a facinating emphasis as only you can do!

You are a wonderful person with a generous personality and I love you for it!
Smiles, Cyndi

ByLightOfMoon said...

Cora,

You are one of the most generous people I have ever known. ANd you ability for stories and poetry are not to be beat!

I am so glad you are feeling better and like blogging with us your stories.

Huggies, Smiles, Cyndi

Deborah said...

Hi Cora, I haven't been by in awhile, but was just asked to pray for someone's sister...she has cancer, and I thought of you right away, as someone I could send her to...you are such an encouragement to me, I know you will be for her too.

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