I first met them at the Allentown show last year. Just after the show opened, I saw a woman and her husband walking down the aisle toward our booth. She was wearing the familiar ball cap of someone who has been battling cancer – I have noticed them so much more since my mom wore hers. Then I realized they were not just walking toward our booth – they were walking toward me. She had a message that she wanted me to deliver.
She had just finished chemo. During the process, she had read the blog posts and pictures that I had posted while Mom was in her shoes three-plus years ago. I remember asking Mom if I could share what she was going through, wondering if she would allow something so personal – so threatening – to be read by people she didn’t know. Now this stranger was telling me that my mom’s courage and grace had been an inspiration to her – and she wanted me to thank Mom for her.
Of course, I was happy to do so – I flashed a big smile and told her that I would look forward to seeing her again at the show next year. As they walked away, I also wiped away a tear as I realized that what I might look forward to doesn’t always come to pass. But I delivered that message to Mom and we shared a few more tears.
“Next year” was yesterday . . .
Just after the show opened, I saw a woman and her husband walking down the aisle toward our booth. She was wearing the familiar ball cap of someone who has been battling cancer – but this time there was hair underneath! And I smiled and said, “You’re back!”
We had a great visit, and remembered the visit last year. I learned that she had brought her husband to the show last year so he could come and shop for her in case she couldn’t later on. I am so glad that they were able to come together again this year.
I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I don’t even know her name. But I am so glad that she is still here – and still fighting – and that Mom and I were able to play a small role in her journey.