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Tears of Joy

By John Yurgens

Last week, I was waiting for a bus at the downtown Transit Center.
A woman approached me and asked, “do you ride the bus often?”
I replied. Every day.
She told it was her first time riding the bus, “I recently had a stroke. Well maybe bot recently it ess last
November. I told her in stroke time last November is recent.
My family has been driving me around, “I feel I am a burden. I decided to ride the bus.
She stated after her stroke, she couldn’t walk or talk. I responded,” Well you seem to be doing well now!”
She claimed she had not had any professional therapy.
I gave her my standard Medical advice: You should T talk to your doctor about that.
My personal/unprofessional opinion she could have more improvements, with the assistance of
therapist. I keep that to myself.
I gave her a very brief overview of my stroke and journey.

She said she needed to get to Lake Huron Medical Center North.
I said, “cool get on the bus I’m going to ride, I’ll make sure you get where you are going”.
While on the bus, we talked about the challenges of stroke survival.
And, “the frustration of talking with people that don’t get it.
I said it’s nice to talk with a fellow survivor, I truly understand those frustrations.
Earlier that morning, I intentionally threw a copy of my book, “Survival: life after a stroke. Poems of my
journey”, in my backpack. No rhyme or reason. Perhaps it was providence.

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I removed the book from my bag. I quickly wrote a note to my new acquaintance. Wishing her well on
her continued journey. She opened the book and read the first poem, “Not alone”.
She started to cry and thanked me several times. And claimed how nice it was for me to share my book
MY BOOK with her. I had to fight my own tears.
I told her “we’re in this together, we need to support each other.

I told her writing the poems helped me a lot with the initial few years of my journey, and I hoped they
provided her hope and encouragement.

How amazing two humans just being and sharing such a personal moment.
By then we were at the north transfer point and we went our separate ways.
I hope to see her again on the bus.

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John has a unique, and interesting story that cannot be condensed into such a small space. To read his full biography article about his family, his unfortunate stroke and how he found comfort and therapy in writing…click here.

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