I had a doctor’s appointment the other day and while the nurse was taking my vitals, she told me how much she liked my bracelets.
Normally, I would just say thank you, but that day I decided to add that the bracelets are for Alzheimer’s awareness. She told me that her grandmother had Alzheimer’s and died many years ago. She remembered how her grandmother used to think she was her mother.
Normally, I would just offer my sympathy and say nothing else, but that day I decided to add, “My mom has Alzheimer’s.” The nurse looked at me with pain and sadness in her eyes, but also understanding. She said, “I’m so sorry. That’s tough.”
Such simple words, but they truly went a long way.
For as much as I share my story on social media, I often hesitate to share it during face-to-face encounters, especially with total strangers. I don’t know why. Maybe I just don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable or to make someone feel obligated to come up with something profound to say.
I don’t know why I decided to say more that day, but I’m so thankful I did. It was a great reminder of why it’s so important for all of us to share our stories.
These are the stories that bind us.
These are the stories that let us know we’re not alone.
These are the stories that elicit empathy and understanding from a total stranger while she’s taking your blood pressure at a routine doctor’s appointment.
These are the stories that make our lives a little easier, our hearts a little lighter, and our worlds a little less lonely.