She caught my eye, and we smiled at each other briefly.
And then, she turns to me, leaning across the empty chair between us, and says to me out of nowhere: "How are you feeling?"
It has already been a long day by this point, at 9:54 in the morning, and so I respond: "Oh, okay. Making progress, but worn out, too."
"Yes," she replies. "It's slow, isn't it? And so long, and so much work."
I nod in response. And then she adds: "To be honest, I'm at the screaming stage right now."
I am totally caught off-guard by this sweet looking, bright eyed, tiny older woman's brutal honesty.
And then, without thinking, I reply: "Me, too."
I kinda really like meeting the folks in the waiting room at rehab. The kind-eyed woman got called back to her appointment before I did, and waved at me as she slowly limped away, pausing with her walker for a brief moment.
I hope our appointments overlap again, so we can talk more about all the things. I want to bring sequins and pretty ribbons to dress up her dented walker, or at least a brightly patterned bag to hold her things, like the one that she pointed out to me on another woman's walker. "We learn from each other, you see," she says to me, just before she stands up to leave, "and sometimes we have to improvise. We learn what works. It's hard to know until you've gone through it yourself."
One day at a time, truly. Thankful to have people to scream with, even complete strangers, alongside the laughter and the grit and gratitude as well. Strength for the journey.