My first meeting with John
I called John’s wife to set up an appointment for us all to meet. She told me that John was anxious for us to meet, but he was in hospital, having just had his surgery 3 days before. She asked me if I was OK with that and I said yes.
It was on a Saturday, warm weather and I was scared to death, but I accepted the “assignment” and so I went.
When I walked into John’s hospital room, my fears we validated; although John was sitting up and talking with his wife, his head was shaved and the top half of his head was still bandaged. He and an oxygen tube in his nose, IV’s in both arms and a dried crusty material around the edge of his lips.
As evident as it was that he was in pain, John’s face lit up and a smile the size of a football crawled across his face. He beamed as he introduced himself, and reached out to shake my hand. John’s smile was infectious, and literally within seconds, my fears melted and we hit it off like brothers.
First signs of acceptance
Over the next hour John and I got to know each other and at the end of that hour, I considered John a very good friend. John had a way of putting people at ease, in spite of the circumstances.
Things I learned that first day
- Because of John, the tubes etc. didn’t bother me anymore.
- John liked KFC’s little dessert cups.
- I had an inordinate ability of boring John into sleep. (more on this later)
- John was a very religious individual.
- John had more friends than I could count.
There was one disturbing thing that happened that day. In a moment of one on one time, John leaned over and asked me “why do I have cancer?” It is a question that he would ask me two more times over the next nine months. I will discuss this in detail in another part of this series.
But for now, I leave you with this thought. Never under-estimate your ability to face your fears; and always leave yourself open to new people and new adventures.
Next time I will introduce you to John’s wife.