Getting Inspiration at the Mall


I was walking through the mall yesterday, and someone said, “Hi, Sandy!” 

I turned and looked at the woman who had spoken.  Her face looked familiar, but all I could see was her face and a pink ball cap she was wearing.  I’m sure it showed on my face that I was searching for a name.

She helped me, she said, “Karen J______, without hair!”  Oh!  I remembered Karen!  She and I had sat through many volleyball games together when our daughters played together in high school.

Since she had mentioned the lack of hair, I asked her why no hair.  And, by the way, how cute the pink cap was.

She said that she was going through chemo again (!)  But, while briefly telling me about it, I noticed how relaxed and at peace she seemed with the subject.

We then talked about our kids and what they’re doing now for a couple minutes and then said our good-byes. 

I told her I was so glad to see her and wished her well with her treatments.  And that I would pray for her.

She smiled and thanked me, and said, “It’s okay.  I’m at peace with this.”  And I could tell she sincerely meant those words. 

Then we went our separate ways.

But, she keeps popping back into my thoughts.  I am now praying for her, while at the same time, marveling at the peace she demonstrated in regard to her cancer battle, in the time that we chatted.

That is the kind of encounter that sticks in your mind, and, I’m sure, will influence how I handle myself, if I am ever faced with the same circumstances.

12 Responses to Getting Inspiration at the Mall

  1. Pam says:

    Canceris such a nasty battle. Glad your friend is at peace!

  2. Sam says:

    Hey Sandra… First, I echo Pam’s comment, grateful that your friend is at peace. Did she mean that her peace removes the necessity (in her mind) of your prayers? Hmmmm. Whatever the answer to my question, I agree with you. Pray away!

    Great post! Thanks.

  3. Sandra says:

    Pam — Yes, it is. But, she really did just seem so at peace with it. It was very impressive.

    Sam — It didn’t sound like that when she said it — that she was dismissing the need for prayers. I assumed that because I said I would pray for her, she was reading the concern on my face and just reassuring me that she wasn’t struggling with it. Her demeanor was one of, I guess I would say, gratefulness for whatever time she has. I think I remember that she’s a Christian, so I think she was demonstrating peace. But, like you say, she doesn’t have to be anything or be at any specific place in her faith — I just have to pray for her right where she is! And, her demeanor, definitely was an inspiration.

  4. Julie says:

    Thanks for sharing that encounter with your friend, Aunt Sandy.
    I had a friend, Autumn, who had a daughter, Lillian, pass away at age 3 this summer. Lillian was diagnosed with Leukemia in March and she died in August! Every time I see Autumn, and it’s not very often since she moved to Orlando in June, she has a peace about what has happened to Lillian and is completely leaning on Jesus for strength every day. She exhibits a joy that surpasses all understanding. Don’t get me wrong, she misses Lillian terribly and says there will always be a hole in her heart, but she also knows where Lillian is and that one day they will be reunited for eternity.
    Autumn always comes into my thoughts. She has been an inspiration to me as to how to live your life, regardless of what happens, in a way that is glorifying to God. She rests in knowing that He is good all the time!
    Have a great week! : )

  5. Beth says:

    I hope that would be my attitude, but it’s impossible to know until we are at that place, isn’t it?

  6. Sandra says:

    Julie — I really do believe that the reason Christians are allowed to suffer is because it makes them cling tighter to their faith, and because it gives them a powerful opportunity to witness to others. Who knows how many non-Christians as well as other Christians Autumn is witnessing to by her inspiring demeanor. But, at the same time, my heart aches when I hear her story. I know you are a supportive friend to her.

    I’m so glad you read and comment here, Julie. It means alot to me. I hope all is well with Jon and your darling babies. Love, Aunt Sandy

    Beth — That’s always the question, isn’t it? “I talk the talk. Will I be able to walk the walk?” But, I will tell you that that is one plus that has come with age for me. I haven’t had a serious illness, but I have had other circumstances at different times in my life that were very hard to go through, and when I “let go, let God,” the peace and direction He gave me was amazing.

    That’s the reason I think faith is easier as you get older. The more experiences you have where He has guided you or held you up, or given you words to say that you know aren’t your own, the more peace you have about handling hard situations in the future.

  7. Hilary says:

    Very inspiring. People who display such strength always are.

  8. Sandra says:

    Hilary — I absolutely agree.

  9. Very moving. What a gift peace is. Not only does your friend have it, she’s spreading it…and so are you with this post. I wish her well in her recovery.

  10. Sandra says:

    Tad — You’re right — it is catching. Thank you.

  11. Mrs4444 says:

    I guess we can never really know how we would react to similar circumstances until (God forbid), we are there. I’ve met some incredible women who have beat cancer with such attitudes; what an inspiration.

  12. Sandra says:

    Mrs4444 — People who are going through tough times have a real opportunity to inspire, don’t they.

    btw, I received the cookbook and have just had time to flip through it so far. It looks like I am going to want to sit down (probably after Christmas) and just read it, more like a novel than a cookbook!

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