I saw the picture in the paper. Another acquaintance has died of breast cancer. Tammy went to school with Tim. I recounted a moment with her last year. She was a very quiet woman with a very sweet nature. I remember how devoted her mother was. The only thing that I could imagine worse than dealing with cancer is watching your child struggle with cancer. The pain in that mother's eyes, Tammy's quiet stoicism...in the past couple days, my mind keeps coming back to consider Tammy, and that morning at the Cancer Center last year. Driving to work today, I was thinking of her again, when a shocking thing occurs to me. There were five cancer patients sitting together in that waiting room that morning just 16 months ago. Of the five, now there is just one. I am the last one. The thought of it gives me a shiver.
I pull into the parking lot of the job that I love, and before I go in, I sit there a moment, saying a little prayer. I take a deep breath. Then I stride into the store, and I greet my coworkers.