Earlier this year, I wrote a children’s book, a rhymed poem. It is a true story based on my life. One day, I went back to find the nurses who cared for me in the hospital, and tell them that they were part of the story. And I wanted to take a picture of them so I would never forget them.
As I drove into the parking lot, a man in a dark overcoat was walking down that same row of cars. I parked, retrieved my briefcase with the pretty leather bow from the back seat, shut the door and “clicked” the clicker to lock my car. When I turned around to walk, he had just arrived at the same spot. I said hello. He said hello and smiled. He stopped walking and just laughed. He told me that he couldn’t find his car. He had his car clicker in his hand. I laughed, glanced at his hand, and told him, that is the real reason that they invented the clickers.
Then he tells me that he doesn’t even know what his car looks like, it’s a rental. I smiled and told him that I had the very same problem in Fairbanks, that I had to find a car in the parking lot but I wasn’t even the one who had rented it. He keeps laughing, and now he shares that he’s not even sure what lot he parked in, that maybe it was that first lot, not the one we are standing in. I look him up and down and say, I don’t know, but you look like you could be a doctor so maybe you would be allowed to park in that first lot. He smiles and shakes his head and says he’s not a doctor. So I laugh and say then you are probably not in that lot after all. We start walking down the row of cars in the same direction.
For some reason, I feel like I should keep this man laughing and smiling. So I tease him and tell him that now he is going to use this lost car episode as his excuse to be late to his next appointment. He laughs and says that he has lots of time, that his next appointment isn’t until 4 p.m. I laugh and tell him, well, then good luck! I turn right to walk on towards the hospital, while he turns left to keep looking for his car.
I hesitated for an instant, but I kept going, for I didn’t want to be late for my own very important date. But I really wanted to go back and tease him one last time and tell him that I was going to help him find his car so I wouldn’t worry about him the rest of the day.
That was in April and now it is October. My appointment went wonderfully that day, I found my nurses and I have their picture now so I can never forget them. But I am still wondering if that happy man, who must be another silly soul just like me, ever found his car.