I was leaving a major retailer today and as I was walking to my car I saw a woman walking toward the store. She saw me and veered towards me at quite a distance which gave me time to ID her. Oh, my. It was a woman that used to be employed at the store where I currently work. There was no way to alter my route and as she approached she called out my name and seemed surprised to see me. I only remember her telling stories of spending her money at lots of trips to the casino even though she didn’t have teeth ( you bet I am being judgy here as I think that you could save up for teeth and not spend that money at the casino) and the time she didn’t know the store was closing and got locked in. So there is that.
I asked how she was and she said, “Didn’t you hear that I had cancer?” I had not heard that and told her that I was sorry to hear it and hope she was better with a good prognosis. She said that she heard that I had cancer and was in really bad shape and not expected to live. I told her that she must have me mixed up with our former manager or another lady that was named Jane that worked there for two minutes that had cancer. She said, “No, it was you! One of the woman managers told me. It was you and you were dieing.” Apparently the managers that she thinks work there don’t know me, yet I know them all. I told her that it was news to me and I was fine.
I asked her again if she was doing ok and she just said, ” I thought someone would tell you I had cancer.” She didn’t tell me about it, though I would have listened, but I don’t know anyone at the store that knows her anymore than an acquaintance as I do, so I am not sure how she thought that, but I guess she needs someone to be concerned for her. I am. I was concerned about her in the world before she told me about her cancer, but not in the same way.
I felt my body turn at an angle indicating that I was done here. That made me feel like I was cruel. I just couldn’t think of something else to say as it seemed that she was requiring it and couldn’t let go of that I didn’t know. I don’t know what her last name, if she has a family, where she lives or is or anything more than what I have written here, but it did feel like she was needy of attention. Being who I am, I feel guilty. I should not as there are many people that I cross paths with each day that I have no other connection with or want to. Not necessarily because they are not worthy of my attention, but because I don’t have enough spoons for that. (Google spoons conversation with blogger and author Jenny Lawson).
Considering all the people I know who have cancer, had cancer, live in fear of their genetic cancer pool, had loved ones die of cancer and have died of cancer….it made me think while I was getting in the car, “I don’t have cancer that I know of though I could have cancer. My friends have or had cancer. My dad had cancer. I could get cancer. I got my check-ups. This is a beautiful day. Today I don’t have cancer and I am grateful. I have two spoons left. I have a serving spoon left for Rick before he leaves to use up all his spoons at work and a baby spoon for Dollie.