Last year I met a woman at the health club. It was a day when I wanted to jog in the pool and be alone. You know those kind of days? So, I was incredibly thankful when I got to the pool and it was empty.
About 5 minutes into my jog a woman came out from the locker room onto the pool deck. OMG! She had those huge 70’s headphones in neon pink. The ones that have an antenna sticking up from the head (hey, remember those??). As if that wasn’t bad enough, she had on a clear shower cap and the most old fashioned bathing suit. S***! Was she going to electrocute me when she got in the pool with those things? She better not talk to me because I want to be ALONE!
As she got in the pool I could hear her singing. And out of the corner of my eye I see her dancing her way down the steps until she was standing in the pool. I turned my body and jogged away. I was determined to have my time.
Just as you might expect, she jogged right over and began talking to me. S*** again! I wanted to jump out of the pool and run away as fast as I could. But, I stayed. Maybe it wasn’t my day to be alone.
Here’s what she told me: She had one son. He had just graduated from high school (I mentioned how unprepared I was for the college thing). She thought he was amazing! She said that 4 years ago her doctors told her she’d never make it to graduation (cancer). But she knew she would. That was her dream. Now, 3 months after graduation, the cancer was not letting up and the next day she was headed for surgery. She said, “I got my wish already. I saw him graduate!”
I started to cry … in the pool (new one for me!).
Then she said: “You’re never prepared for the next life experience. We look for it. We dream about it. But it just comes and all we can do is keep those incredibly important people who love us, right by our side and have faith that the plan is in front of us.”
She got tired quickly thereafter and had to leave.
I didn’t write about her because first of all, I was an A** for judging (something I almost never do) and second because I didn’t know what happened to her and I didn’t want to jinx it (the Italian in me!).
This week, I found out she died within days after our pool meeting.
Friends, this is a huge reminder that life is not about what’s on the outside. Life’s about what’s on the inside – and her inside was amazing — even in the midst of all that cancer.
I just can’t seem to get enough life lessons. 🙂
LOVE those by your side this weekend.