02 September 2013

"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars." -Khalil Gibran

The most beautiful woman came into my work today. It was her son's eighth birthday and she was buying him a new pair of scriptures. As our conversation continued, she began telling me more and more about her life. I noticed her arm was discreetly hooked up to an IV, when she told me of the stroke she had suffered six months prior. Despite her broken sentences and inability to find adequate vocabulary, I was totally entranced by this conversation. 

She went on to tell me a few years ago she had a daughter pass away, and then told me three out of her seven children had brain tumors. Her humor and strength in the midst of her situation absolutely amazed me. She ended the conversation by saying, "Because of the things I have been through, I am who I am, and I really like who I am."

I, in no way feel comfortable comparing my trials to hers, but the love she had for her trials; the love she had for herself - not even in spite of them - but because of them, simply resonated with me, and in my very small and limited capacity, that is exactly how I feel. 

This woman is a hard-working mother to seven living children, and a mother to a young deceased one. She is a wife of fifteen years - fifteen years that I can only imagine have been very trying. She, with her messy hair and fast pace - in between speech therapy sessions and grocery shopping - was buying her eight year old boy a new set of scriptures, and as she walked away she turned around and sweetly told me she loved me.

The only sufficient way to describe this saint would to be to call her a Woman of God. She, to me, perfectly emulated a righteous woman, who no doubt will be rewarded in the next life for her character and grace. How grateful I am for examples like her - who - when I least expect it, remind me of all that I should be.