Sunday, August 17, 2008

Prayers from strangers

I had my 2nd treatment in a row last Friday, August 15. This was the second half of my treatment from last week. It was also Karen Esplin’s last treatment. We had a party. She brought homemade cinnamon rolls and I brought a cheese roll and chips with salsa. It was fun party. I was done with my treatment pretty quick but stuck around for a while to visit. It was a great experience.
When we decided to leave, my mom, sister and I wanted to go grab a bite to eat, despite my nausea and lack of appetite. We picked the nearest place of convenience which happened to be ARBY’s. America’s Roast Beef, Yes Sir! After ordering our selections, my mom and I searched for a table. Along the way, I passed a young gentleman who smiled a subdued sort of empathetic smile. I am kind of used to this, now. By this point, I have no eyebrows, no eyelashes and I wear a head wrap to conceal my bald head. It still doesn’t cover up the fact that I am sick. I smiled back and proceeded past him.
A few moments later, as we were waiting for our food, this same man walked up to my mom and me and said, “Would it be all right if I played with you?”
Wha?! I was thinking this guy was a registered pedafile or perv. What stranger says that to 2 women.
Thinking I had mistakenly heard him, I said, “I’m sorry?”
“Would it be alright if I prayed for you?” He repeated.
Okay, now I felt like an idiot. Oops.
“Sure.” I replied.
So there we were, in the middle of a fast food restaurant, heads humbled and eyes closed, offering a prayer to God. It was a beautiful prayer. I don’t know what faith this young man was but he truly was inspired to comfort me that day. He prayed for my health, for the doctors and for those around me to be comforted. It was amazing. When he was done, we all said our quiet “amens.” He gently patted me on the shoulder to assure me that everything would be okay. I graciously said, “Thank you,” and he went to sit and enjoy his meal, alone.
My sister approached during the middle of the prayer and didn’t want to interrupt so she carefully placed our food down and backed away.
When we opened our eyes we saw that our food had miraculously come but my sister had disappeared. After the man left, all I could was point at the tray and look inquisitively at my mom to see if she had an answer to this mysteriously appearing food. Then I saw my sister over the booth and she just gave me a simple nod to confirm my suspicions. If we had been praying for roast beef sandwiches at the moment, our prayers would have been answered faster than we could say amen.
It was a great day that day and I will never forget the perfect stranger who was inspired to offer a simple prayer on behalf of my health. To him I will always say thank you. And not just to him but I know of all the many hundreds of people both strangers and not, who have offered multiple prayers on my behalf. Thank you.


nateandcj said...

That's gotta feel good...I would for sure love to get together sometime (playdate for sure)... we need to hook up:) I love your blog....and by the way your family is beautiful!!! Talk to you soon...... Let me know what works for you!!


Goodrich said...

Paige- You my dear cousin, are an amazing woman! I sure look up to you and the strength you have. I sure love you and pray that all will turn out in your behalf. I am so grateful for the chance I have had to know you and what an amazing woman you are. I hope to see you at the Reunion, if you are up to it. Love you- Sisalee

The Allred Family said...

EWhata sweet man. I got goose bumps reading that. Some people have such a gift for being in tune with the matter what faith.

Karen E said...

that is about the sweetest thing I have ever heard, it's like he was one of the 3 nephites of something. I also wanted to let your readers know about the Brad and Bizzy Family fasting for you. They don't know you, but they have 7 children, and told the kids about Paige, and several of the kids, plus the mom and dad fasted for Paige on Sunday. Paige, you are a SPECIAL person, and you are only going to get better going through all this I love you, Karen

christyjorgensen said...

People do great things when there is no one around to see. But is very rare to see someone going out of there way for someone they dont know. You and your family are in my prayers.


Ann Mitchell said...

Dear Paige,
I was Karen Esplin's roommate for 2 years at Dixie College. I have been keeping up on you through her blog. She also told me a lot about you when I was down last month. (My niece married Mike Schmutz from Enterprise---I read you had lived there) I have kept you in my prayers, and in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple prayer roll when I go there to work. Besides being an ordinance worker, I am in my 29th year of teaching 5th grade!
Good luck with your cancer. I'm sure it was extremely helpful to have Karen there with you.
Ann Mitchell

Lauren said...

Paige, this is Lauren Shumway. I am Christin Olson's sister in law. She has shared your story with me and I just want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. You are so strong! Hang in there and know that you are loved by our Father in Heaven. Keep up the positive attitude! Loves...

Christin said...

I finally found you. That was a very touching story. My kids always pray that "Paige will feel better" at every meal. Keep your chin up.


Jaxan and Mommy said...

As random as it was meeting you at Lynn's last night, I am glad I got to. Everything Karen has said about you is true. My prayers are with you as you do your final treatments these next two weeks.