It’s been said nothing happens by chance and I believe Friday evening was one of those nights.
I had to run into CVS to pick up a few prescriptions for my husband. The Pharmacy Clerk who waited on me asked if I was aware that one of his scripts would be 300.00. I was shocked because it’s a prescription he’s been on for years and we’ve always paid 45.00 for it. We already pay 100% out of pocket each month for both our premiums because my husband is self employed. The only thing that changed with our health care insurance was the cost of our monthly premium, it went up by almost 300.00 this year and pay approximately 1300.00 each month to carry health care insurance.
When the clerk told me how much the prescription would cost- my anxiety level went up very fast. I have been trying to work very hard at keeping my anxiety disorder at bay because my husband needs me to be strong for him. I wrote an article the other night about his illness and what is helping me to put my anxiety on the back burner. It doesn’t take much to set it back into action when you’re already worried for good reason and suffer from an illness that you do not have control over.
The clerk told me she would contact our insurance company because it may not be included on our formulary list of drugs this year. I left the pharmacy counter feeling a bit defeated, shaky, dismayed and just plain upset. I wasn’t upset with the clerk, I think I was upset with life in general at that point.
Things took an unexpected change when I went to the front counter
I had a few other personal items I needed to pay for at the front counter and when I’m feeling anxious there are times I tend to talk a lot… I think it’s my adrenaline working over time. I have known the clerk up front for some time and she’s an angel in disguise. She listened to me complain about the increase in the price of his medication, she asked how my husband was doing which led to further conversation.
I’m sure many of you can relate that one subject leads to another while talking to someone. That’s what happened the other night and before I knew it, the clerk and I were talking about a woman who worked for CVS for about 30 years and passed away suddenly on her day off at the age of 77. She said, she was still so young and related how sad it made her feel.
After the clerk related the woman’s age to me, I agreed, she was young and went on to say that I had lost my mom 2 years ago and she was only 76. I also felt my mom was too young. After I told the clerk (I’m sorry, I don’t know her name) about my mom she said, “Honey, I’m so sorry, I know how you feel, I lost my mom too and it hurt so much. I told my daughter I knew my mom had a good life but I still felt she was young too.” I asked her how old her mom was when she passed and she told me she was 90 years old.
The clerk shared a very personal story with me after she opened up a bit
She told me that her mom had been in a nursing home and she knew her mom didn’t have much time left over the past few weeks of her life. We both shared with each other that we didn’t want to watch our loved ones die. That’s when the clerk told me that the last night she was with her mom at the nursing home she knew her mom was dying. The nurse told the clerk, “Sweetie, you need to let her know it’s okay to go.” The clerk shared with me that she was thinking to herself, “I can’t tell her it’s okay because it’s not. I don’t want to lose her.” She related to me that she knew it was selfish to feel that way, I reminded her it was deep rooted love and human nature to feel that way.
Suddenly, she found the words
The clerk whispered to her mom, “Mom, if you have somewhere you need to be, it’s okay to go there. I don’t want you to worry about me because when the time is right, I will meet you where ever it is you need to be.” She left the room and cried all the way to her car. She knew in her heart that was the last time she would see her mom.
The phone rang in the middle of the night
It was the nursing home and the nurse who was calling the Clerk ( I wish I knew her name) told her that her mom had passed away not long after she left her that night. The nurse went on to say how sorry she was and then said, I need to tell you something and I hope I don’t upset you. The clerk felt a bit nervous until the nurse spoke again. The nurse told her “ I opened your moms window as soon as she passed and whispered to her she was free.” Her mom favored this particular nurse and she would tell her, “when I die, please open my window so my soul can fly freely.” Her wish was granted.
The clerk was over come with a flood of relief
She knew her mom was finally at peace and she was felt at peace with the last words she spoke to her mom too. I then asked how long it had been since her mother passed and she related to me her mom passed away 6 weeks ago. I was in shock. I thought she was relaying a story that happened some time ago. The clerk was still in the midst of deep grieving. I told her how sorry I was and gave her a big hug. She cried and hugged me, thanking me for listening. She didn’t owe me a thank you. She also did what many people do, she apologized for breaking down. I reminded her that it’s healthy to cry and it’s still very early, she just lost her mom after all!
Once again I was reminded that if we listen to others, it can make our issues seem fairly small. I truly feel the events that led up to talking to the CVS store clerk the other night was no coincidence. I did a bit of soul searching after I left and something hit me, I took the Hospice training certification just before my mom was diagnosed with Cancer. I didn’t get involved because mom lived out of town and I didn’t have the time to invest. I reminded myself that when the time is right, I WILL invest my time with hospice. Listening to the Clerk reminded me why it was I took the certification course for Hospice, my deep empathy for others.
What began as a frustrating night and an over load of sudden anxiety left me feeling guilty about my initial reaction but also with a sense of calm because I was in the right place at the right time.