I always seem to be behind on the Daily Prompts… Probably because I don’t seek out to do them, but every once in awhile one of them catches my eye… This is the second one this week… Crazyness.
The prompt I am choosing to follow is entitled “Stranger.” It asks, “Have you ever had a random encounter or fleeting moment with a stranger that stuck with you?”
My response is heck yes.
I tend to attract random encounters. I am the person who talks to people on airplanes, helps you find an item in a store or runs head on into in the hall.
This particular encounter played a massive role in me settling into Nuc Med and into Medicine as a career.
I call it a God-moment. Some people call it fate. Others randomness. Whatever it was, I am grateful for it.
So, flash back to February or March 2005. I am a first year Science student, it is the one afternoon a week I don’t have class and I pick up a flauta from the nice man at the City Market (who is still there, might I add) and hopped on the bus back to the hospital.
It was the day of my Nuc Med interview. If I got in to this program, then I would transfer degrees and I would be set for a career at the end of this. No pressure.
I went to the hospital cafeteria to kill time and eat my flauta. It was super busy, but I found a seat at a table for two that overlooked the lobby, hauled out my flauta and a book, popped in my headphones (aka my anti-social devices) and planned to kill the next 30 minutes studying for whatever quiz was upcoming (and trying to ignore the serious case of butterflies I had).
This adorable elderly lady came up to me with her tray… A sandwich and tea. She asked if she could sit with me because the place is packed.
In my head I wanted to tell her no. That the last thing I wanted to do was share my table and actually possibly have a conversation.
My Mother did not raise me to say such things.
So, I invited her to sit down.
She was stressed. Her husband was in the hospital. Cancer and there was something wrong with his heart too, she thought. He went for tests, so she came down to eat something.
She asked what I was doing there. I told her I was there for an interview. She didn’t really understand what for and asked if I was going to be a doctor.
This was something I was toying with at that time. It was a possibility. A distant one, but something that had bounced around in my head.
I told her maybe, but that this interview was to be something like a person who does x-rays.
She then told me about how wonderful everyone was with her husband. She assured me I will be a wonderful doctor and that my interview would be fine. She then went on her way.
I never saw her again.
I thought the encounter was a bit funny. I thought it was just an old lady not understanding that I wasn’t going to be a doctor. That I might actually wind up becoming and engineer or some sort of scientist.
She did make me feel more at ease.
The interview went well. I got in. And years later I became a doctor.
It sounds silly, but I felt like God stuck her there to encourage me. To keep me from freaking out. And maybe to keep me pointed in that direction.
I wonder what became of her, and of her husband.
I may never know.
But, her simple words, that random encounter sticks with me.