I watched a woman slowly walk by in the hallway as I waited. She was probably in her 60s, and hobbled very slowly with her crutches, wincing with every step. I could hear her talking with the person at the front desk. It was clear she comes here often, as they had a fond familiarity with one another.
"Hey there! So how are you today?"
Said the woman with the crutches: "Oh, you know, been better...but I surely cannot complain! Some days are harder than others, but I know there are so many worse problems to have."
While I couldn't see the woman while she was talking, she had a smile in her voice. And a lot of wisdom.
The receptionist continued: "They say if you saw your problems compared to others, you'd gladly take them back, right?"
"Amen, amen. I've seen it. I know it. And I know I am such a blessed woman. You have a beautiful day, sweetheart. See you soon."
I felt like an idiot.
Here I am sitting in this room. Congested and not feeling any better with my sinuses, sure. Knee a bit swollen still, but not in any pain. So I hobble around for a few days every other week, whatever.
I get home. I hear about a family not far from here who has lost two daughters in a house fire. They've lost TWO DAUGHTERS. And their home.
I think back to the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy in December. How those families will never be un-broken.
And I want to yell at myself for every negative "oh, poor me" thought I've had in the past, oh, forever.
Really, Liz? Poor you, with three healthy, happy children, a strong marriage, and a home you love, in a neighborhood filled with people you consider family.
Poor you, with a roof over your head, a comfortable place to land, food on your table every day.
Poor you, with parents who you love and live close by, and have always been there for you.
So I've got a lot of crap in my sinuses. So it's attacking my joints and I'm a little wobbly. So I haven't felt "good" in a long time. I am here, and I have more blessings in my life than I could have ever dreamed.
Of course, I said.
So we laid there, and she wrapped her arms around me as she fell asleep.
I could feel the lump in my throat, and the tears welling up in my eyes as I watched this perfect child, who is growing up far too fast for my liking, drift off to sleep. I felt like the luckiest person alive.
And the words of that woman in the doctor's office rang so true.
I surely cannot complain.