Recently, for about fifteen minutes, my life took a little and wonderful detour. Yes, sometimes the best things in life are ones that are unexpected.
Over the last eight years, small groups of women and I have visited a local high school or middle school to meet with some wonderful students and hang out with them at lunchtime. Over those eight years, we probably have given flowers to the students on three occasions. Last week was one of those occasions, but it was different.
During the break time, after the first group of students had finished lunch and the next group arrived, I looked up to see a visitor. It was a young man in his U.S. Navy uniform. That got my attention. I’m used to being in the school conference room but it’s usually full of middle school girls. He told me the receptionist had told him to hide in the room while he waited for his “little’ sister to arrive.
I live in the Hill Country of Texas and we just don’t see a lot of active duty military men and women in uniform in our day-to-day lives. The Navy is part of the history of my husband’s life and that of his brother and father. For me, seeing Navy military members is not unusual. Seeing them in the school in that room is. I had worked as a civilian for three military services, so of course I wanted to learn more about what he does and where he does it.
As he talked, I remembered he mentioned that he was hiding. I asked if his sister knew he was coming–and the answer was no. An unexpected surprise was about to be revealed right there in that conference room! We quickly put together a small bouquet of flowers and then she arrived.
To say it was a joyful and dramatic moment would be an understatement. It was a powerful reconnecting and all of it was happening in this school conference room in the middle of Texas, far away from where he does his work.
After some more tears and photo taking they left to visit elsewhere because those students we are used to seeing showed up.
On any other day there would not have been flowers to share and fifteen minutes earlier or later, the room would not have been available. Those little things that are unexpected can be more memorable than we imagine. I am sure this will be a story they will share over the years. Awesome!