I had the pleasure of paying a visit to a client who is located in Rochester, Minnesota. I was scheduled to be there all week, staying in a hotel just down the street from the client’s offices. And of course, being there all week, you tend to see some of the same faces each day as you leave the hotel in the morning. As all of you probably know, Rochester is also the home of Mayo Clinic. You don’t usually end up at Mayo unless something serious is in need of some very special attention. I couldn’t help but notice some of the same people and certainly a repeat of the same conversations, each day. One group that was there for the hotel breakfast buffet and the free shuttle to the clinic consisted of a couple from the Chicago suburbs, another from a small town in Iowa and a couple from Dallas, Texas. They were there for several days, sitting together, exchanging pleasantries as if they’d know each other for years. I couldn’t help but notice and overhear as I grabbed some coffee each morning near where they all sat.
The thing that still stands out is the camaraderie, the care and love, the support and the laughter they all shared. Others were doing the same. While total strangers before, they were sharing so much of themselves as they connected with their new friends.
Maybe they’ll stay in touch, maybe not. But while they were there they were all on the same page. The one thing that still rings out as if I just heard it was “Good luck today. Hope everything goes well”. Over and over again, like it was scripted. I was even approached by one of that group as I got coffee one morning, asking me “Are you here with someone going to the clinic? Are you here alone?” HOW nice, how thoughtful and how unfiltered was that? It really touched me that someone clearly there for some rather serious health issues with a family member was reaching out to this stranger just there to do a little business and to grab a cup of coffee for the road. And after I explained that no, I was just there to work with a client, I still got the obligatory “Hope you have a good day today” as I walked out the front door. Along with the warmest, most genuine smile you can imagine. It stopped me in my tracks for a moment. And I was definitely fighting back the tears as I exited the hotel.
Obviously, some great reminders came to me through this experience. And perhaps, during this holiday season and as we close out 2013, it will help some of you as well. Most people are basically good. They are vulnerable and their lives are not perfect either. But the heartfelt love and support of others, both old and new to us, can go a long way in helping us make it through whatever we come up against.