A man stood in the doorway.
A stranger yet familiar.
Out of context perhaps?
"Remember me?" he says
Yes, of course
(oh, where do I know you from?)
"How's your wee girl?"
Oh, I have two little girls now. We're fine.
(yes, I must have worked with you: I get the feeling that you KNOW me)
Actually, we've had a pretty tough year, my youngest has been diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy and is going to be wheelchair dependent.
(you're nodding as if you already know, as if you understand)
"Yes, there's another meeting soon - I got an invite through today"
Oh, my goodness. I'm sorry, yes. yes, I remember you!
(yes, i met you at a new parent's evening, didn't i? you were the only one to talk to us... you were so kind to us. i'm sorry, i don't know why, but i'm going to ask you the question (the question that is burning inside of me and needs to be asked); i hope that you don't mind...)
Does it get any easier?
(i'm sorry to ask, i can feel the tears, i'm sorry i'm going to cry...)
"Aye, it does, but it never goes away"
(my tears are falling silently)
"I didn't mean to upset you... You and your husband, I can see you have great strength. I can see you are good people. Someone told me at the point of our son's diagnosis - and now I'm going to upset myself - "special people get special children" and it's true. The meetings are good; you get to meet other people going through the same..."
(i'm listening, i promise, i can't believe that i met you today on all days! i asked you the question i have been so afraid to ask and you answered me... thank you... i can see your sadness, it's palpable but you say that it gets better and i believe you...)
His son has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy; they are four years down the line from diagnosis.
I hope that we'll see them at the next meeting...