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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Coffee with Ms. Copeland

I eagerly anticipated a normal day—if there is such thing. I glanced at my office planner. A couple of meetings were scheduled for the afternoon. My morning was open to either catch up paperwork, or visit with some of my residents. But my mind switched from my residents in the facility to my residents in the hospital. 

It was a cool, crisp morning. My thoughts were of a couple of residents that had been sent to the hospital that week. I have learned how much the residents and their families appreciate a hospital visit from the staff. It’s comforting for them to know that the staff cares about them beyond the walls of the facility. In return, I delight in their smiles and sweet “thank yous” as food for my soul. 

I headed to a local hospital, and visited my residents. I was truly glad to hear they were doing better. As I walked by the coffee shop in the hospital, couldn’t pass the delicious aroma of fresh-brewed coffee. It was too tempting, and I stopped at the shop.

A cappuccino is always a treat. 

As I was savoring my frothy cappuccino, I glanced at the other customers, wondering if they would agree that the hospital coffee shop had the best coffee in town. My train of thought was interrupted with the kind smile of a woman sitting next to my table. I smiled back.  

“It seems that the hospital is quite busy today,” the woman commented when our eyes met. 

“That’s true.” I said, observing several visitors coming and going. “Are you visiting someone here?

“No. I’m just running some errands,” she said in a calm voice. “Do you work here?”

“No, I work at a nursing home.” I pointed to my name tag, noticing it had flipped over. I turned it, making the information of the facility and my name visible to my unexpected chatterer.

“Ah, a social worker?” 

“Yes. I came to see some of my patients.”

“That’s very nice of you.” She smiled. “I’m sure your patients appreciate your visit.”

Our small talk continued a few minutes more. She was a delight to visit with. Her refined words flowed graciously. I took small sips of my coffee, keeping my eyes fixed on her smile and humorous comments.  

She mentioned she was heading to Arizona. 

“A winter bird?” I asked, grinning. 

“No. The trip is work related.” She clarified. “I’m a writer.”

“Oh, really?” The woman became more interesting to me now.

“I write Christian Fiction.”

“What’s your name?”

“Lori Copeland.”

My jaw dropped. Lori Copeland, an American best seller who has authored over one hundred books sat there with me, just like any other coffee shop customer, or any other hospital visitor. The kindest and friendliest lady I could have ever met that day. 

This is not a normal day. I thought. It's a marvelous day!

I mentioned my own writing journey, my blog, and inspirational stories. She listened attentively. And she spoke with refreshing and encouraging words. 

Ms. Copeland’s phone rang. She looked at the number and quickly said good-bye.  She walked away while talking on the phone. 

A wonderful feeling embraced me. Ms. Copeland was my celebrity that day, even if I didn’t know who she was when we first started talking. She taught me a lesson of kindness. And she motivated me to follow my passion for writing. 

I went home that day, and searched the Internet about Lori Copeland. I was certainly fascinated learning more details about her career and novels. I loved learning that she was a Christian lady actively involved with church missions. I adored knowing that she lived in the Ozarks.

A few days later, the receptionist handed to me a packet that had arrived, addressed to me. I opened it, and with great surprise I spied three of Lori Copeland’s novels. All were signed. One had a note:

Thank you, Ms. Copeland.