The Waiting Room

by | May 3, 2019 | Heidi's Updates

I was sitting in a doctor’s waiting room a few days ago with an elderly gentleman. He was a bit overweight and had a walker in front of him. His phone rang and he answered, joking good-naturedly with the person on the other end that no, he hadn’t forgotten his appointment.


He ended the call with an, “I love you,” then folded his flip phone back together, smiling at it fondly. “Someday maybe she’ll say it back.”


I smiled at him, not really sure how to respond.


“My daughter,” he said. “She says, ‘You too’ but she’ll never say the full three words. Eh, she’s a good kid, though.”


I didn’t know what to say to that, but glimpsed his hat, which read SUBMARINE SERVICE, and decided to change the topic.

“Did you work on submarines?” I asked.


“I did. But after I got bored of that, I went to Coronado to train to become a SEAL.”


I instantly perked up, told him I had just done a bunch of research on Coronado and becoming a SEAL for a book. I asked him more about his experiences.


“Hardest thing I ever did. But one of the best, too.” He told me how he went on six tours, how he lead two of them.


The nurse called me away too early, but I couldn’t help thinking about this man, with his walker and gray hair and round belly. I never would have guessed his history.


Everyone has a story, but how often do I take the time to listen? To ask questions? To soak in the history of the person before me instead of soaking in my Instagram feed?


This is life. This is real. This is what matters.


#lovewriting #lovestories

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