|image taken (by Ms. Turks) and shared with patient's permission|
"And you know we're on each other's team."
I saw him today in clinic. A resident physician had just signed him out to me and I was just popping in for a supervisory visit. All of it simple enough.
As soon as I walked in, I thought, I've seen this patient before. And that must have shown on my face because right as I thought that he spoke.
"Remember me?" he said.
I had to do a double take because I wasn't so sure. I cocked my head sideways and bit the inside of my cheek. For a moment, he looked a bit hurt by that. But then, in a snap, it all came back to me. I widened my eyes in disbelief. "No way."
"You remember now?"
"You were. . .wait. . .Team Better? Yes! Team Better!"
"Team BETTER!" he exclaimed. And literally we both jumped up and danced in that room.
"And look at you! You're better! You are!"
"I am! I am!"
I clapped my hands and squealed with delight. And honestly, right after that, I immediately felt like crying.
"I can tell you have a testimony." That's what the nurse, Ms. Turks, said when she saw our interaction. And he looked at me and smiled when she said that. I smiled back.
And so. Together we told Ms. Turks the story of "Team Better." I even pulled out my phone, loaded up my blog and read him an excerpt of the story he gave me permission to write about that experience. The very story he allowed me to share with all of you of Team Better.
I surely did.
"You guys saved my life," he said.
And I said back, "No, you saved your life. We just agreed to join you in believing that you could."
"That made a big difference."
"It did for me, too." And I said that because it was true.
So this? This was simply a story of what can happen when someone looks at you and treats you with an expectation that you can and will win. Win over whatever it is holding you back. For him, it was a serious illness that threatened to keep him bed bound and disabled for the rest of his young life. For someone else, it might be something altogether different. That expectation led him to fight for his life which, in a way, we all are doing every single day.
So here is what I want to know:
Who's Team Better are you on? Who's Team Better should you be on? And tell me, who is on your Team Better? The one rooting for you? Are you on it? Are you? Remember--my patient was the most important member of that team during his hospitalization--but it all started with someone speaking life into him. Life. Not death. Not disability. Not despair. Not dead ends. Life.
Man. We search and search for the panacea to what ails us when sometimes it just comes down to the energy we draw and receive. What life we speak into ourselves and others. And a lot of that is a choice. Our choice, yes. But also the choice of those around us. And those choices can be life or death. They can. If this man taught me nothing else, he showed me the power of intention. When there is intention, that energy is greater, more powerful.
Yes, it is.
We wrapped up the visit and I headed to the door. The mood was light and you could tell that everyone felt happy inside. That feel-good energy was filling every crevice of the room.
"Still Team Better, right?" I held out my balled up hand to give him a celebratory fist bump.
He smiled big, wide and genuine. Then he leaned forward to let his knuckles touch mine. "No doubt, Miss Manning," he said. "No doubt."
I cried the minute I got on the other side of the door. I surely did.
Because this? This is the real Grady. Humanity and hope woven tightly into fleeting moments and unforgettable testimonies day after day after day. . . . and grace personified.
Happy Thursday. (This serves as your Thursday huddle, Team S.J.G.R.)
Now playing on my mental iPod. . . . .and now yours.