Stranger in the Elevator


I remembered him today — the man in the elevator.  He was a stranger to me. And strangers riding elevators abide by certain unspoken rules.  “Respect my invisible physical boundary.”  “Stay as far away from me as possible.”  Conversations are highly discouraged.  A blank stare or non-eye contact means “do not disturb” so don’t talk to me.

But in that brief ride with this man in the elevator, there was that something that connected one soul to the other.  That nameless energy that makes us open up and invite people to enter our space.  We broke the unspoken rule simultaneously.

Our gazes locked.  He smiled.  I smiled.

He started a conversation by asking questions about the clinic hours at the fourth floor of our building.  When he realized that he was an hour early, he asked if he could wait in our office.

I hesitated a bit but ended up saying ‘yes’.

He shared his life story — his family, his separation from his wife, his health, and how he survived a diabetic coma when his blood sugar became dangerously low.

I listened mostly.  I confess, at one point, I did wonder what I had gotten myself into.

When he learned that we were offering programs for toddlers, he gave the names of his nephew and niece, who were twins, and his contact number.

Then it was time for him to visit his doctor.  I thought that was the end of that encounter.

A few days later, the man in the elevator returned to the office – with three white roses and a card.  I was surprised and a bit flustered.  Did he misinterpret my kindness?  I mean, he was old enough to be my father.

Sensing my uncertainty, he reassured me quickly.  “No, no. It’s not what you think.  I just came back to say thank you for being a friend.”

I remembered him today as I was cleaning out my cabinet and stumbled upon the box where I kept the cards I had received through the years.

Tito.  That was the name he signed with on the card.  The roses have long wilted and I am about to dispose this box of cards but I will always remember that brief encounter and what happened thereafter.

A month after he gave me his gifts of appreciation, I called up the number to invite the twins to our Play and Learn program.

It was then I learned that Tito had passed away.

I was shocked into silence.  He was gone! Just like that.  He was gone. I was very quiet that day.

Tito, thank you for reminding me then and now that if there be any kindness I can show or any good thing I can do, let me be open and willing enough to listen to inner guidance and to have the courage to say ‘yes’ again and again.  Thank you for being part of my story. Our stories. I remember you.”

And God softly whispered, “You have met your angel today.”


“We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.” ― Luciano De Crescenzo




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15 thoughts on “Stranger in the Elevator

  • August 26, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Hello Michelle. What a beautiful poignant story. Is this for real or a product of your creative mind? I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s real, for you have the knack of weaving poetry into ordinary lives. Thanks for sharing and go girl! By the way, miss you so much.

    • August 27, 2015 at 10:35 pm

      Hello Alice! This was a true story. It happened when our learning center was still in Diaz Building near Cebu Doctors. I am smiling now. I guess sometimes the things that happens in our lives seems surreal. But to be able to weave poetry into ordinary moments is magical. I like! I hope to be able to do more. Thanks for reading and commenting. Miss you too. Hope all is well with you. Love and light. :)

  • August 24, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    Went to my Bank this morning and was greeted with wonderful smiles that came from the inside out, felt really special,it was then that I realized all the women were Filipinos and I thought to me self!

    “Mike you are surrounded by a flock of Ripple Makers ”

    So I went to the court house got a Mormon Marriage lic then bought a mini van, brought them to my Hut in the Jungle.
    Hundreds of years from now National Geographic will host a special on a new world Master Race discovered in deepest darkest Maui…

    And all that came from getting coins at the bank for Laundry day..Aloha :)

    • August 25, 2015 at 8:07 am

      Your energy and enthusiasm is contagious. hahahhaha Yes from ordinary things come great pleasures.

  • August 24, 2015 at 6:24 am

    so looveeee this! inspiring..reminds me of the Red Thread Ancient Chinese Proverb – An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break.”

    • August 25, 2015 at 8:06 am

      Charity, now that you mentioned this, I remembered this red thread in one of the Taiwanese dramas that I watched lately. Thanks for bringing this up. I do agree that we are connected and destined to meet certain people in our lifetime. And I am glad you are part of mine. Hugs.

  • August 22, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    “Roger That Wing Commander Simtoco to infinity and beyond “

    • August 23, 2015 at 2:00 am

      I like that. Hahahahah Roger!

      • August 23, 2015 at 3:18 am

        Write three of the most profound sentences you have ever written and I will try and follow suit!!!! sentences

        • August 23, 2015 at 7:19 am

          Now this one I have to meditate upon. hahahaha

          • August 23, 2015 at 11:02 am

            No rush and no pressure hehehehe :)

  • August 22, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Michelle I loved it !!! as always when you I read your beautiful work I take it as if I’m am having a deep personal connection with you :-)
    I was with you every step of the way from the elevator to the office,
    I could feel your heart beat, each breath, step you took , the energy that flowed through your thoughts flowed in to my thoughts and for a brief moment in time we were wonderfully connected. I felt us embrace each other as our wings give lift to a beautiful flight of unadulterated passion.
    Michelle you bring out a side of me that I love and I know Tito embraced that day so long ago,a wonderful moment in time.

    Thank you!!!your one person I feel so incredibly safe with,instantly connected!!!!

    Michael :)

    • August 22, 2015 at 12:03 pm

      Mike, your presence and your comments always make me smile. Thank you for taking the time to walk with me in my little moments. Miracles and angels are everywhere. It is a joy to be surrounded by such precious souls. I am touched to know that you feel incredibly safe with me. Much love dear brother, kindred spirit. :)

      • August 22, 2015 at 7:53 pm

        Michelle we both have dared to go deep and let our inner child heal and come to light and in effect have given birth to innocence again and while we occasionally suffer bouts of depression that child reaches out again and again to find like children coming alive all over the globe…Don’t know if this all makes sense hahahaha…but you’re my safe place :)

        • August 22, 2015 at 9:59 pm

          Mike, it makes a lot of sense. Yes we do experience the roller coaster rides of emotions. But at the end of the day, the child like heart takes over and there we go! hahahhaha It’s been a good journey… healing. Let us keep on!

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