Testimony: Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for everyday. Still, I’m not a fan of Mondays; it means the weekend is over and the work day is here. Plus, this Monday, I woke up to a pain in my back, neck, across my collar bone and shoulder blade and to the news that David Bowe died. As a child of the seventies and eighties, I knew his music; it transcended color. As an adult and a journalist, I knew my day would consist of sharing what I know about his legacy and the other events going on in the world with New York television viewers. But first, I had to talk myself into getting out of the bed.
Just as I predicted, I was assigned to the Bowe obituary and eight other stories at noon, most of them tragedies. Yet, I didn’t focus on the morbid nature of my job. My co-worker Diana, came over and shared an update about her son’s recovery. This young man, little more than half my age, suffered a devastating injury that threatened his life, mobility and memory. Yet, there he was in the photos reclaiming his future bit by bit; it was in him I saw the endless possibilities that perseverance, medical help, faith and family can make. I stopped my whining and took action. I picked up the phone to report my newfound discomfort to my doctor. Then, I went back to work.
At around noon, the manager of the wedding venue I booked two and a half year earlier called. Lymphoma surgeries and nearly a dozen other procedures afterwards, including rebuilding my stomach prompted me to postpone my wedding. Yet, now my fiancé and I had decided to begin again. I’d sent email expressing my interest to get back on track and less than a hour later Adriel called me.
I’d figured the venue manager, Adriel, wouldn’t remember me but he did. He said my note, specifically the line that said I wanted to get married before anything else happened, spoke to him. He said he couldn’t let it pass. He told me he called to let me know I was a walking miracle; an example of what can go right with determination, intelligence and faith. He shared I am good writer, who by sharing her experience, has no doubt made a difference. And, he assured me God isn’t done with me yet. Then, he offered to pray with me.
I reminded him that we spoke the same day my doctor told me I needed my first lymphoma surgery years ago and he prayed with me then too. I told him how his words calmed me, bolstered my faith and gave me the courage to walk into a surgeon’s office to face an uncertain faith. This stranger, a man I barely know, offered to pay for dinner for my fiancé and I. Why? He said we need to stop thinking about how far we’ve come instead we should focus on where we are headed together; in short, he said it’s time to celebrate our bond.
Humbled, I hung up the phone and forgot my pain. I breezed through my fourteen voiceovers for the afternoon shows and waited for the clock to strike 6:30.
As I hobbled out the door, holding my arm close to my body, so my walking wouldn’t cause anymore pain, a friend of mine, a cameraman named Gus, asked if I was driving or taking the train. I told him I was headed his way. Slowly I meandered across the four streets to the train with Gus by my side. He even waited as I inched down the stairs and showed me constant concern. And, he even stood beside me until his stop came.
Alone at Penn Station, I climbed up the stairs to the deli to get something for dinner. I saw two black kids walk up carrying snacks they were using to raise money. Instead of sending them on their way the beer vendor took out a five dollar bill. He then told them to give the snacks to the homeless people standing against the wall. The boys did so happily.
I’m still not thrilled with Mondays but this one showed me everyday is an opportunity to make yourself and the world a little better. A kind word, random act of kindness of sharing good news can turn a difficult day into a blessing.