God is too good; He totally set us up for sure.
I expected today to be normal. For my normal routine. For my pre-meds to come. For the chemo to arrive. For a friend to visit. For the still hour of waiting, vigilent for any response to chemo to arrive.
But I passed your room. And normal schedule was over instantly.
I was nosier today than usual and stared into the patient rooms on the way to my own. Was that an Olentangy Braves letterman jacket hanging from that chair? Halt. Rewind. Stop. Ask the Spirit: definite Yes! Drop things to my room down the hall, hands full of outside “life” to make hospital trip more life-giving. Tell Dad, “He has an Olentangy Brave letterman jacket!” before he can say anything, and I’m off back to your room.
Your mom was in the room. Knock? Yes. Knock.
“Does your son go to or did he graduate from Olentangy High School? I saw the jacket and had to ask! I graduated there from ’09!”
Your mom, so sweet, half-way probably wandering why this random patient is at her son’s door. But you show up! And you are there! I repeat the reason for my intruding introduction.
We chat. And you are the highlight of my day Skylor, and you are the sunshine of the sky today for me. I find out what year you are at Olentangy, and I then I am instantly listing, listing names of fellow students in your hall, your friends who are also my friends! I tell you that I help lead a high school Bible study that has many Olentangy Braves students there. (Yes, a complete set-up, by who other? God. yes.) So much joy in exchanging people who know, teachers we both have had, the game day traditions! And most importantly, our life story. Why is it that we are both here, in this hospital, for this moment? When we could have simply passed each other in the local grocery store one day, past or present, and barely would have even said “hi” then to o one another?
You are a fighter, dear friend Skylor. A true brother in survivorship. And as we exchange stories and swap about how our cells, our own living body betrayed us, we also swap how different life is in an even a good way because of our cancers, our tumors. The perspective on life. The developing gratitude. The reality of our friends/support team around us. The love we see.
Thanks dear new friend for keeping me so much company today, for listening and conversing with a 23-year-old who you thought was at first 18 (hey, I’ll take it! ha!) off and on today for 3 hours. You are my brother in survivorship, and I look forward to meeting up again with you consistently on our synchronized chemo scheduled days as well as outside in the “normal” life, world.
And I will tell you honestly, young brother in survivorship:
Today’s meeting was no accident.
You attending my alma-mater is no coincidence.
You and me sharing chemo dates and times—when there are so many factors that play in that: type of cancer, date of diagnosis, blends of chemotherapy drug treatments—points to me that the statistics were not in our favor in meeting today.
Simply put: God set us up today.
And I’m glad He did, and I look forward to the journey He has on us together, new brother, new friend!
Truly the highlight of my day: meeting fellow patient close in age at a Children’s Hosptial and Olentangy Brave, Skylor!
Thanks for disrupting the “normal,” letting me intrude on you, and for bringing me so much joy, joy today!