“Hey Ed, it’s me…so what was the funny story?”

“What?”

“You called me the other day to say you had a funny story to tell me.”

Silence…

“Um…..I can’t remember….what was it?”

“I tried to call but your phone was busy for days.”

“Um…oh yeah…so I was at the mall on Friday….you know I go to the mall on Friday…right?”

(note….I am writing this as if this is how the conversation went…but, in reality I repeat back every sentence he says so he can let me know if I am interpreting him correctly.)

“Yeah…you go shopping for your snacks.”

“Yes…so I was at the mall and this woman came up to me and said, ‘Every time I see you I feel so blessed.’ So I asked her why and she looked up to the sky and said, ‘I don’t know, but he does.’”

I laugh.  “What was she like?”

“Strange…..that was sort of a compliment.”

I feel a surge of protectiveness that people are so condescending and don’t even know it.

I ask, “What do you think she meant?”

“I don’t know…it was so strange.”

“I was hoping you were going to say she paid for your snacks.”

He laughs, “No…she just looked to heaven.” He pauses, “Has anyone ever walked up to you and said, ‘You make me feel so blessed?’”

“Well once the old Italian woman sitting next to me in this little restaurant in San Francisco touched my hair.  I pulled back because it was so weird and she said that in her culture that if she didn’t acknowledge something beautiful like my hair or the beauty of a child it was like cursing it.”

“Once a guy came up to me and told me I was going to be an angel.  He didn’t know me so it kind of blew my mind and then he said, “You’re in a wheelchair because you are just paying your dues.’  I took it with a grain of salt.”

“For four days after your wreck you were almost brain dead.  When you came out of the coma you told me that you had gone to heaven and that you loved it and wanted to stay, but that God told you that you had to come back so you could provide jobs for people.”

“Really?”

“Yeah…you said you loved it and you were really mad you had to come back, but that you were not afraid of death because it was so amazing.”

He laughs easily, “That’s cool.”

“Yes.”

 

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