I had one of those magical encounters today.
I decided to treat myself to lunch at my favourite little posh café in town after my floatation session, during which I decided I should really stop smoking.
After I enjoyed my Tuna, cheese and onion pannini, I decided to have my decaf coffee at one of their outside tables with a cigarette. And there was a man sitting there too.
Soon enough he started chatting to me and I find out he was diagnose with Prostate Cancer two months ago.
His whole attitude towards it and life was heartwarming.
He was a very simple man, in his 70s. He had by all accounts a very simple life, yet extraordinary in my eyes.
He has been married for 52 years, and, had only recently retired from his job to which he was married to, he joked, for 53 years. He laughed that he’d been married to his job longer than his wife.
He only retired when he got sick. He said he was glad not to be working now.
He said if he had one piece of advice to give to anyone was “don’t graft so hard”. He said his only regret was having worked so hard all his life.
He was such a good, funny man though. He said he didn’t care if he died or not now. He was good with where he was.
And he was, you could feel it as he chatted.
He joked that when the nurse was setting his next checkup for the cancer in 6 months time, his son told the nurse that he might not have that long to live, so the nurse cheerfully said, fine, I will set the appointment for 7 months then. That made him giggle. And me.
He also told me he was reborn. He explained that he wasn’t always a good man, he used to drink and have a gambling problem. One day, he decided to do away with himself and was going to hang himself.
As he was preparing the event, he asked God for help in his desperation. And God answered. He calls himself reborn now, and I know exactly what he means. This was 14 years ago and he has been settled ever since, able to appreciate life for all it has to offer, the good and the bad.
We sat there a while, watching people go about their business and chatting, enjoying a cigarette together.
I am so glad I haven’t stopped smoking yet. Smoking has enabled me to connect to random people on a different level, especially recently.
As we parted, his hand reached out to shake mine. I told him best of luck and that I hoped he made his 7 months appointment. I have a feeling he will.
He had said earlier a lot of people had been praying for him at a local church when they heard his predicament. He felt that had made a difference.
It made me realise the power of positive thinking comes in all shape and sizes.