I went downtown to show an apartment, and stopped off to pick up a few things at the Dollar General. I was standing in front of an array of things looking for a night time pain reliever. A woman stood beside me. We both studied the situation in silence. For a while, anyhow. Because I'm a bit of a blabber (you may not have noticed), I said, "Well, where'd they put the (insert registered trademark here)?" and she said, "I can't find my low dose aspirin." We adjusted our reading glasses and studied on. Suddenly, she said, "Ah...here we go. I have to take the 81 mg. It's hell getting old." And it just burst out of me: "I want to get old." She looked at me wearily. "No you don't," she said. "Yeah. I do. I found out yesterday I've got cancer again." Shocked she stopped. "I just found out this morning that I've got cancer too. In my lung." We stared in amazement. Her eyes went red. "I've got seven kids. I've told five of them." I said, "Yeah, that's no fun. That's what I was doing last night." She said, "I can't stop crying." I said, "I haven't cried at all." And we hugged tightly in the middle of the store, exchanged telephone numbers. We live in a small community, but really, that was kind of a remarkable meeting. She said, on parting, "You know, I've already done this twice. I don't know if I can do it again."
That's where we're different, she and I: I know that I can.
But I will.
Whatever it takes.