Friday, December 11, 2015
Make Someone Smile...
In my daily travels, I've made friends at the local markets, bakery and pharmacy. At one of my stops there is a lovely woman whose husband brings her into work every day she goes in. He even helps her set up before going home. They are an old school Italian couple with grown children who do everything together. I speak with her husband often and the exchanges are for the most part short and concise. We discuss anything from the weather to families to holiday traditions and even politics and religion. Nothing is off limits. Most of the time we laugh, at ourselves and at each other. I walked in one morning at 6am, with furry slippers, pajamas and disheveled hair, which was sticking up all over the place (the joy of curly hair). He laughed so hard when I walked in and I was doubled over laughing by the time I went out the door.
One morning a couple of months ago he told me he had cancer. After extensive testing it was found to be stage 4, involving multiple organs. Our conversations of late have been light and we both tread carefully on the illness talk, especially as it is particularly upsetting to his wife. This morning I asked him how he was doing while she was not within hearing distance. He said they told him he had 9 months. He had a CAT scan last week and the doctors were very encouraged at his progress. The two types of chemo he has been receiving are evidently working. He looks great. We talked a little about food and diet and as I got ready to leave, he kissed the back of my hand and said "I really enjoy our conversations." I held my tears until I was in my car.
It is bittersweet, so happy to hear his treatment is going better than expected, but knowing there is a clock ticking. What moved me was knowing that I am responsible for one of his smiles on the days I see him. I think we all know there are people we make smile, but we rarely hear them actually express it. We all should thank those that make us smile. It is such a fantastically uplifting experience. He was the reason I smiled all day today.