Sometimes the best thing we can do is to simply bring good people together. Yesterday, I felt this more profoundly than ever as two of my dear friends, Sue and Talia, brought together less than ten months ago, shared the most sacred of moments at a Phoenix hospital.
A year ago, I would have told you that Sue and Talia were very different people; almost opposites. I would have been wrong.
I have known Sue for nearly forty years. She is the kind of person who brings peace into every space; she even did it for two decades on the family law bench. Sue will walk into a room and spread her warmth without hesitating or holding back; words just flow from her, as if divinely inspired. If you are not ready for it, it can take you by surprise.
I have known Talia 15 years. Like Sue, Talia is a very caring person; but she wears it far differently. Talia is warm, gracious, the ideal hostess, perfectly put together, composed, and quite measured in her words. When you hang around Talia enough, you feel the affection, but it sometimes sneaks up on you; often in something she did for you, quietly, without fanfare.
I introduced Sue to Talia at a conference in Minneapolis on May 13, 2014. I have to admit I was a little anxious about it. Sue led off the conference with a brief talk in which she poured out her soul, in complete Sue-like fashion. It was one of those talks in which, if you knew Sue, you just wanted to go over and give her a big hug. But, what if you did not know Sue? What if you were Talia, coming to Minnesota for this strange conference, listing to this woman you never met just lay it out there? I glanced over to Talia, anxiously, thinking this may not be such a good fit. Well, what do I know, anyhow?
Within seconds after Sue’s talk, Talia was at her side, making a connection that I cannot even begin to explain. Talia would later tell me that she felt drawn to Sue from the moment she began speaking. I have puzzled over this for some time. Maybe there was just a certain magic in the air. I am not nearly wise enough to figure these things out. I just know that some spark was lit and it has made a difference in both lives.
Flash forward ten months to today; Sue is in Phoenix, recovering from a successful brain surgery that removed a cancerous tumor. The weeks and days leading up to the surgery were, as you can imagine, quite intense. Throughout this time Talia has been, literally and figuratively, at Sue’s bedside. Talia took Sue to her doctor’s appointments, invited her into her home and has “mothered” Sue through this past month. One of the nurses, watching them interact, asked whether they have been friends since kindergarten. The bond that was felt in the room must have seemed like something that had to be carved out over the course of fifty years. I guess love and caring does not honor time tables or speed limits.
This past week, I have been observing this from the sidelines; a thousand miles away, but feeling real gratitude for this connection. So glad I could put these two people in the same room and let something grow that I still cannot fully explain. I suppose it is worth pointing out that the name of the conference where I introduced Sue and Talia was “What’s Love Got to do with it?” I can’t really explain that either. Maybe, I don’t have to.