Sometimes we get so caught up in our own lives that we often forget that we’re not the only one going through things.
I hopped off the bus today in the afternoon after finishing work. I got off the first bus and got on the second bus which would lead me home. I heard the automated bus driver voice say “this is an express bus”.
Ahh crap! I thought to myself. I was in such a rush to hop onn the bus that I didn’t pay attention to whether or not this was an express bus. But then, if I got off a stop early, which I kinda planned to anyways, I can get my slurpee and walk the rest of the way home, about a 3-4 minute walk.
As I grabbed on to my purse and got ready to get up from my chair, I happened to glance at the lady sitting across from me. I knew that face.
“Yolanda?” I said as I looked at her. She looked up and smiled at me. “Hi dear!” she said. I saw her beginning to stand up as well. “Are you getting off here?” I asked her. She smiled and nodded. I extended a bent arm towards her so she could hold my arm as she got off the bus.
Yolanda isn’t old….perhaps 50 years old or so. She was one of ladies that trained me when I got my first job. I was a cashier at an italian grocery store named Pusateri’s. While I really loved my job then, when I look back on it, I’m not sure that I really appreciated what a great job that was. I think about it now, and really do appreciate it. I had some of the best times of my life there.
I haven’t worked there in about 10 years. Yolanda expressed her shock and delight at the fact that I not only remembered her face, but also her name. I told her that while I’ll sometimes forget where I had seen a face, I don’t often forget the face. “And how could I forget such a beautiful face anyways?” I said. She smiled her cute smile and playfully hit my arm. We got to where we were going to cross the street when Yolanda looked up at me. She softly said “I haven’t been at work since last year. I was diagnosed with cancer.” She tilted her head back, exposing her neck. A large scar ran from almost 1 ear to the other, possibly where she had surgery to remove some sort of growth. “I also don’t have any teeth in the front anymore.” I could tell she was speaking kinda weird, but had no idea why. She didn’t have any front teeth. I didn’t want to pry and ask her exactly why that was.
I asked her where she was receiving her treatment and she told me Sunnybrook hospital. I felt awful. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t wish bad things upon anyone. But please, not Yolanda. She was so sweet and so kind. I felt the tears well up in my eyes when I noticed that the beige bucket hat that she wore was the shield her head…her head that did not have one strand of hair on it.
I held her hand and told her that I’d have her in my thoughts and in my prayers.
We crossed the street, Yolanda’s arm still wrapped around mine. I pointed her in the direction of my house. Yolanda was going the other way. I told her to take care and that I’d see her soon. I’m not sure why I didn’t attempt to get her phone number or something. So stupid of me. I guess I was still in shock.
I was happy to see that she was well enough to get out and take the regular bus to get around. Then again, perhaps she had no other choice.
Yolanda is such a wonderful woman. I hope that I’ll get the opportunity to see her again soon so that I can do the right thing and get some sort of contact info from her. She’s a great lady.