Saturday, June 13, 2009


Night time. Again. It is now the 14th. 14 is my favorite number. So today must be my lucky day.

I was at the pharmacy today and was waiting in line. An older woman looked at me. She looked right at me, connecting. I did not know her.

"You're Laurey, right?"


"Congratulations on your bike ride," she said.

And then, "I'm a survivor myself."

"Oh?" I said. I was just in line, there to get my pills and hurry to meet my sister at the baseball game. I was late. But then I made myself slow down.

"What kind?"

"I had brain cancer," she said.


"It has been 15 months" (I think she said).

By then I was completely with her. Stopped. Waiting. Standing still. Ready to listen. In line at the drug store.

She told me about her drugs and her appetite and about a few other things. I told her to come eat at my shop. To stay in touch. To keep it up.

We parted. I hurried out of the store, crying. Moved by her finding me, by her stepping out to talk to me about this time she had had. She did not know me but had seen my picture in the paper at the end of the ride.

I still haven't figured this whole thing out, but it seems to me that just being, just standing up, just listening is a good thing, a valid thing, maybe enough of a thing. I think it was for her, today. And for me, today, it was too.

I feel jumbled up still. Very. But these kinds of things crash into me and make me stop in my tracks and set all the worry about anything else in my mind aside. This, right now, is the most important part of my life. And yes, I get to do other things, and yes I have to do other things, but this, this right here, is the main thing right now.


1 comment:

Catnap40 said...

I am a former Asheville resident, former itinerant bike rider and two-time cancer survivor. Survivors are all connected. I feel guilty that my struggle wasn't tough enough. I feel like I can never do enough to thank the people that helped me and I feel like I can't explain how empty I feel when I should be filled with joy, just to be alive. I don't think I will ever figure it out.