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That heavy load

Salisbury Post- September 21, 2019

Laptop, notebook, snacks, clothes, and an excess of needed items from home. One backpack and three additional bags – filled. I was set to spend the day at the hospital with my son, who was scheduled for surgery.


6am. Arrived in parking deck. Too much concrete and darkness in there for me.

I hurriedly grabbed my ‘stuff’ and my journey began. Goodness, what a heavy load I was carrying! I was not sure I could make it!


The first part of the trek was slightly uphill. I whispered my most often said prayer, “Lord, help me.” It all felt so hopeless – maybe I should turn around and leave some ‘stuff’ in the car.


But, I saw the entrance up ahead. There was no reason to turn back. I had come too far to stop now…


When I got inside the hospital, I put my bags down and began struggling to re-adjust my backpack. As I fumbled with it, someone stopped to help me lift it to a better carrying position on my back. It was still a heavy load, but felt much better! I grabbed my other bags, and continued, while still wondering if I could make it to the elevator.


Feeling a little overwhelmed with the load – and the day ahead – I looked down as someone passed me from the opposite direction. Even though I wasn’t looking at them, they cheerfully called out, “Good morning.” I felt obligated to look up from my heaviness – and respond.


Then, I guess I decided to keep looking up – and I started to notice all that was around me.


A bouquet of flowers on a table.

How pretty!

Artwork on the walls.

How beautiful!

A row of rocking chairs.

How comforting!

People smiling – and saying hello.

How nice of them!

A little girl in a frilly pink dress, speaking excitedly in Spanish, while carrying a vase with the biggest sunflower ever!

I had to smile… in spite of my heavy load.


As I stepped onto the elevator, there was a lady with some bags that appeared even more cumbersome than mine. We both laughed, as she said, “Looks like we are having a contest to see who can carry the most stuff!”


That is when I realized that somewhere along the way, my load had begun to feel lighter.


How was the rest of my day? The surgery was cancelled. The doctor decided it was not needed.


As I gathered up my ‘stuff’ to head home later, my son said, “How did you carry that heavy load in here by yourself?”


I looked around to see if God was in the room, putting those words into his mouth, because they were so perfect.


“I wasn’t by myself,” I responded. “Not by myself at all.”

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