Theo is a retired nurse who spent his career working at by far the fanciest rehab hospital I think I’ll ever lay my eyes upon. I will always remember Theo’s enthusiasm as he played show and tell around the rehab hospital. He was a delightful guide but by lunch time I was exhausted and actually feeling rather ill. Theo sensed something was wrong and after explaining my pains he got up, left, then returned with a contraband (long story) bottle of clear liquid. Not exactly what I was expecting. Theo poured me a glass as well as one for himself promising I’d feel better soon. Well, sure enough I did. It burned so good as it ran down my throat and after Theo and I drank up a few glasses the pain was all but a memory. In our new blissful state, we began sharing our philosophies on about people and our world. By the time lunch was finished, Theo and I had become fast friends.
Upon seeing each other once again, Theo enthusiastically embraced me, kissing me on the cheek more times than I could count. When Theo finally released me from his friendly grip, I introduced him to some of my colleagues in Pristina who had rallied to come meet him for lunch so that Theo would be able to meet the rest of my family, my Kosovo family.
As we ate lunch, Theo explained further about the 16 year boy he came to see here in Kosovo, who has an incomplete spinal cord injury, and the wonderful plan he is devising to help the boy move forward with his life. We then moved on to Theo’s recent trip to Miami and all the adaptive challenges they faced and successfully overcome. I was nearly rolling on the ground as he told me about how they had to call the fire department to help some of the paras out of a van due to a broken lift that was trapping them all inside. Well that wasn’t funny. The tears of laughter began rollings when he described how excited the women were when these hunky firemen came to rescue them and the photo shoots that ensued. From there the laughs continued until Theo and I had to say our good byes. Although neither of us were done sharing stories , the time had come for Theo to return. We said our goodbyes. I received a lot more kisses and then he was off.
As I walked back to my apartment, I thought about how dear of a friend Theo has become and how thankful I am to have met him. I look forward to when we will meet again where ever that may be. Until then, I’ll be thinking of him each time I eat one of the “medicinal” liquor filled chocolates he brought. Actually, I think I’m feeling a little under the weather right now :)