I have very much been in my own world, in a good way, enjoying life and friends and having close moments with people who are important to me. I have felt close and loved; I have been taken care of and taken care. I am grateful. And now I am back.
Yesterday, as K. and I wound down from a day's work and were getting ready to go home, a young girl wandered into the clinic. She set down a large backpack and looked at me, big blue eyes peering through long curly hair, and said in a shaky voice that she had come in because she saw the sign for our clinic and "...liked it." She wanted to know about massage, because she has been thinking about becoming a massage therapist. She was wearing a big fur hat that accentuated her small frame and had a Starbucks cup in her hand. She told me that she is homeless, but won't always be.
She sat down in our waiting room and asked me about how we started our clinic. Looking around our space, a space I so much take for granted, she looked at me and quietly asked, "How do you do this? How did this... happen?"
I told her about school and choices, first we did this and then that. I talked about different modalities, requirements, etc. I told her that our massage therapist Ashley would be glad to talk to her when she had a moment. But there is a lot that I didn't say.
Confluence would neither exist nor continue to exist without our loving community of family, friends, and colleagues. I felt them all around me in those moments, as I talked to this young, vulnerable person, the lack of support in her own life so present it stung. I felt embarrassed by my good fortune. I wanted to help and I felt helpless. So, we talked.
Yesterday happened to be the birthday of one of my greatest supports, my father's mother, Irene Robison Carney. She would have been 98. She passed away 10 years ago this summer, just after K. and I passed the one year mark of our relationship. I am so glad he got to meet her.
My Grammy was a woman of strength, beauty, faith, family, and food. The impact of her presence in my life cannot be overstated. She was a role model and an example. She believed in me and told me so over and over again. And showed me over and over again. And the money she left me when she left this world made our clinic possible. I miss her so much, but her support lives on in so many ways. Thank you Grammy.
I didn't all tell this to our visitor, but when she left I gave her a chocolate bar and enough money to maybe get a room for the night. It felt like a pittance. What I really hope is that I gave her some true kindness. Tonight, as I get ready for my weekend, I give thanks to everyone who loves me and lets me love them, and pray that that young girl is safe.