Nikita and the enduring power of humanity

An elderly man with thin white hair entered the garden. I looked up from my writing at the sound of the oxygen machine hanging in a sling by his side. With the oxygen tube across his face, he smiled gently to me.

He looked strangely familiar. I returned my attention to my writing, and I was aware of his voice in lively conversation with a gardener in the background.

At some point he returned near to me, and I looked at him with curiosity. He walked softly, as if on clouds. Where did I know this man from?

I said, “Hello.” He returned my hello, and bowed deeply in a most relaxed, joyful and serene way.

He was lovingly drinking in the beauty of the garden around us. Probably drinking in the oxygen rich air, among all the plants, too! I could tell this man was filled with uncommon grace.

I said, “You look familiar, but I’m not sure where I would know you from. Did you used to have long hair?”

He replied, “Yes. Do you watch TV? Maybe you know me from a series.”

I said, “No. Well, I used to.”

He said, “Did you watch Nikita?

I exclaimed, “Yes!”

And he said, “I played Walter. I was Nikita’s friend.”


I was overjoyed to hear this! In my 20’s I loved watching Nikita. Nikita was a young woman who got sucked into working for a super-spy agency. Although she was really tough, she was also unconventional. She always had a soft spot that got her into trouble with her bosses. Even in the midst of this ultra-tough work environment and the pressure to be hardened, she clung to her soft spot – her tenderness – her humanity. I really LOVED the Nikita series!

And how special to meet this actor, old, on oxygen, and obviously filled with such grace 25 years later!

I got up off my bench, reached out my hand, and said, “My name is Andrea.”

He said he was pleased to meet me, and his name was Don Francks. He told me to look him up on the internet 🙂 Which I did!

You know, we all go through harsh experiences in life sometimes. We can go along with the harshness, shut down our humanity, and live the rest of our life in the shadows. Or we can be brave, “foolish”, maybe even annoyingly insistent, and cling to our humanity and the warmth of the human heart – NO MATTER WHAT!

If this speaks to you, I would love to hear what touched you, and about your approach to holding onto being human in the midst of the downright harsh things that can happen in life. Share your comments and reflections below!

One comment

  • Jan

    I am thinking how wonderful it was for that man to have been recognized by you. He must have been so happy. I am sure that not that many people recognize him today. That is what I like about this story…. I will be thinking about that man and how he felt to meet you. Wow.

    November 22, 2015


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