You never know the pain other people are enduring by looking at them. This one older man who came in for a routine check up was all smiles and pleasant as I took care of him at the front desk. He said his goodbyes and left us with a smile on our faces with his compliments and good nature. About a month later he came back to the office to pick up his eye glasses and he said to me, “I almost didn’t recognize you because you changed your hair.” I was surprised he even noticed and said so, “How nice of you to notice I changed my hair.” He responded, “I remember a lot of things, and I notice beautiful things.” Wow, that was the best compliment I received on this long busy day. He made a point to greet and compliment my colleague before he took a seat to wait for his turn.
I went about my business while he waited and fifteen minutes later he was done and ready to leave before asking, “Is black your natural hair color?” LOL, I rarely get asked such questions by a man let alone this older gentleman so I responded, “No, my real hair color is dark brown but I figured I try black so it can match my eyebrows.” He thought it was funny and laughed and then he said, “Let me show you something.” He brings out his iPhone (yeah iPhone and I’m still using one of those flip top or whatever it is my kids call ‘old school’) He shows me a picture and says, “You look like my wife.” As I take the phone from him and looked at the picture, there is a beautiful woman with black hair and yes, I did look a little like her now that I changed my hair color to black. I thanked him for the compliment and said, “She is beautiful and I do see the resemblance, thank you for the compliment.” Then he replies, “She’s been in a coma for seven years. She doesn’t look like that anymore but yes she is beautiful.”
That was the saddest thing to hear and I can still see his expression of pain when he said it. The man is clearly still in love with his beautiful wife and to know that after seven years he still goes to the hospital at least twice a week to be with her was both touching and sad. My heart ached for that gentleman on that cold Friday afternoon and when he left and said goodbye I thanked him for both sharing his story with me and for the compliment.
We never know what troubles and pain others are going through unless they share them. I guess that’s why I try NOT to get upset when people take out their frustrations on those not deserving of it. There are those who do not know how to deal with loss, pain or their shortcomings and sadly they take it out on others.
Life is good,