This week in my FaceBook memories, I came across a post I had written following my recovery from hip surgery. The memory now has mostly faded of how difficult physical therapy was. But in the post I recounted how during the most painful of treatments, I would think of all the people who were pulling for me, praying for me, and it would help get me through it. One of my friends had replied: “Your Balcony People.”
What a descriptive term! When I hear it I think of all the people who have been such for me. So many of them have passed on from this world. In the successive years 2008 and 2009 my mother, and then my father, died. The year 2019 was full of loss: my dear Uncle Harley in April, my cherished friend JoAnn, in June and my beloved brother Ed in October. Yet I feel their continued presence in my life. And so many others are still living, still cheering me on through life.
In 2001, as I drove down the driveway following the ambulance carrying my husband, I called my friend Diane, just wanting the assurance of a caring friend. But in less than an hour she and her husband were at the emergency room and brought a meal for me. In 2002, barely four months later, when Terry had restenosis in the stent he had only just gotten, once again Diane showed up in the waiting room. In 2009, as I waited in the Emergency Room where my father was being treated for a stroke, my friend Ann showed up. So many encouraged me through the long process of preparation for ministry, have supported me through dark times and celebrated successes with me along the way. Balcony People are priceless.
Knowing how much those people mean to me, I strive to be a Balcony Person for others. Life is full of opportunities to fulfill that role. Mercy knows, we can all use someone in our corner.
May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter. Shalom, Kate
Hope’s Café Bonus: “Life is not a solo act. It’s a huge collaboration, and we all need to assemble around us the people who care about us and support us in times of strife.” – Tim Gunn