As a nurse, I encountered numerous memorable patients but there were a few that forever settled into my heart. Montana Wild is fiction, but Jacob, the patient in the story was real. In the span of a human lifetime, I knew him a very short time, but his spirit had a lasting effect on me. Jacob died decades ago but he stays with me and inspired me to write.
How is it that someone I knew for so short a time could have such a lasting effect on me?
Have you ever had a chance encounter with someone. . .a stranger, and you just clicked, even for a few minutes? I am not talking romantically, it goes deeper and more to the core than that. Age, gender, race doesn’t come into play…you just feel a connection with their spirit. In my lifetime, this has happened to me only a handful of times but I cherish each occurrence.
I was in an elevator with a group of people once when it happened…something almost magical. For those few short moments, as we traveled between floors, I felt a kinship… talking, laughing, interacting on a real level, sharing an unusually close rapport of humankind. As the routine journey stopped at every floor, packed in like sardines, we became one…sharing laughter, stories, kindness…basic human spirit.
When we finally reached our destination, I felt sadness when the doors opened and the shared warmth dissipated as we all went our separate ways. I mourned that it was over, but a deep contentment lingered as I knew I had just shared something special. Did everyone feel that same afterglow? I hope so. Why does it happen so rarely?
Jacob’s time with me was short but when a connection like that happens, one cannot measure it in time but in essence. A bit of his spirit lives on in me. It was a gift.
Thank you Jacob.