Chance Meeting Was No Accident!

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It has been way too long for me to not have posted. So since I just re-upped my website ownership I suppose that I should be motivated to start again! I am writing this after the 50th Annual Festival at Nativity of Our Savior Church. It was a huge success and as usual, I am flattened afterwards. This year I was fortunate to be able to head down to Florida to preside at a wedding for a young couple in Sarasota. Naturally, I was able to spend some time in DisneyWorld to visit my “Happy Place”! I also got to dine at my fav restaurant The Flying Fish on the Boardwalk. I had also hoped to have some of those yummy Chicken wings at the ESPN Sports Bar, but alas, they were undergoing renovation and their menu was limited to cold items. Nonetheless, I got to visit with my favorite bartender, Jim.

the wedding of John and Kimberly Lambert was over the top. I have never been to a more beautiful and elegant wedding in my entire life. That’s what happened when the reception is held at the Ritz-Carlton. I’m used to receiving a drink in a red solo cup but this swanky place served in glass glasses. Whoa!

But the highlight of my trip was meeting a woman and her daughter from London, England. She was in Sarasota with the hopes of getting new prosthetics for her daughter. Her daughter had meningitis when she was two years old and the disease caused her to lose her arms and legs. Now at the age of sixteen it was time for her to transition to a “newer” prosthesis. I found her daughter to be unaffected by the stares and whisperings that I saw people doing when she walked into the hotel lobby. I admit, the initial sight took me off guard. But instead of gawking at her I felt very moved at her unflaunted confidence. At a perchance conversation with her mother she shared with me about her amazing daughter. She told me how the doctors told her that her child would not survive this disease. But she firmly believed that as a woman of faith, her daughter would live. And she certainly has indeed. She gave up her career as an accountant to care for her daughter. She placed all her ownings of her accounting business into property around London and has lived very well.

She is now recognizing that her daughter is slowly transitioning away from her mothers loving care. I felt that she was telling me that she will mourn the loss of not being her main caregiver.  But it was because of her love for her daughter that she became a stronger person. I found this to be sad and celebratory. She is now looking at how she will now transition to a person who will have the time to do things for herself. Perhaps more reading, a new hobby or interest and perhaps a swank at going back to the career she left those 16 years ago.

When I departed from my hotel I was able to run into her one last time and I had to just thank her for sharing her story with me. In turn, she thanked me for listening and being able to express her feelings about her life. I found in her talks that she was a Roman Catholic. When I told her I was a priest, she seemed delighted that a member of the clergy listened to her.

In essence, what unfolded in my meeting with her was how we fed each other. I thought of the Eucharist and in the sharing of Jesus Christ, Body and Blood. Soul and divinity. We did not exchange addresses and/or emails, but, I feel the impact we had on each other will last a lifetime. Praised be to God!