I lost a dear friend to breast cancer when she was 29 years old – maybe some of you remember blogs I’ve written about Tina. She’s always on my mind in October, both because it is breast cancer awareness month and her birthday is Oct. 14.
Tina was a funny, loving, beautiful woman who died so young. Losing her changed me forever, as did watching her fight with cancer.
This year, I would like to write a series of stories in the month of October about breast cancer survivors — about how the disease impacted their families, about hopes and fears and about how breast cancer changed their lives. So I turn to you, my readers, to see if any of you in the Daily Globe coverage area would be willing to tell your breast cancer stories. The stories can be about triumph, hope, tears, sorrows, or whatever direction you think works.
Anyone interested, please give me a call at 507-376-9711 ext. 222 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please leave me a voicemail if I’m not in the office – I have a lot of running to do in the next week, but I will get back to you.
Now I have a funny story for you.
Years ago, when my hair was more blonde than gray, I was in a grocery store with all three of my kids. Matt was just a baby and was in a car seat, which was in the grocery cart and left little room for groceries. Nick was just a toddler, sitting in the cart with his chubby little legs sticking out. Maggie was probably about 9 years old and revolving around me like a small planet, asking for this or that.
We were in the checkout aisle, the baby was starting to fuss, the toddler was dropping things on his brother’s head, and the eldest was annoyed she couldn’t have all the things they put in that particular aisle to make a parent’s shopping experience a nightmare — Snickers, gum, lollipops, that kind of thing.
As I worked to uncover the baby by putting groceries on the moving belt, a kindly old woman behind me in line tried to chat with Nick. Maggie interpreted for a bit, then got bored.
Nick was only 2 or so, and his speaking skills were questionable, at best, but if you were used to it, he was pretty understandable. The woman checking groceries was not really paying too much attention to anything but the groceries until she caught on to the fact that Maggie had quit interpreting, the little old lady was getting confused trying to understand Nick, and the odds that all of my kids were going to go sour before we got out of her checkout line were getting bigger. She jumped into Maggie’s abandoned position and started interpreting.
“You must have little ones at home, to understand him so well,” the little old lady said.
“No,” the clerk replied. “I bartend on weekends.”
I still laugh when I think about that. There’s nothing like a silly joke to make me smile. Bailiff Clyde caught me off guard the other day when we were waiting around in a courtroom. For those who have never had the chance to visit a courtroom, you may not be aware just how much waiting around is involved. Seriously. A lot.
Anyway, Clyde said, “You know why ducks fly south for the winter, don’t you? Because it’s too far to walk.”
Everyone in the room snickered, including the defendant and the jailer. The only thing better than a silly joke is a silly hat. I love silly hats. But it’s tough to get any real use out of them in a courtroom, since hats aren’t allowed in court.