Kindness and Compassion

14 Dec

One of the things that amazed me about having cancer is how people responded with such incredible kindness and compassion. It made the whole ordeal so much more bearable and touched my life in a special way.

A short time ago, as I shopped for groceries, a woman came up to me and greeted me by name. I didn’t recognize her at first. Then, as I studied her face, I remembered.

She was the pharmacy assistant who had dispensed medications to me for many years, starting with my prenatal vitamins and then onto all those sticky bubblegum-flavored antibiotics that my kids needed over the years. If anyone was ever sick in my family, she knew about it. When I got breast cancer, she knew that too.

Soon after I was diagnosed with cancer, I switched pharmacies. Since I was suddenly taking so many medications, it seemed like a good idea to have a pharmacy that was closer to home and open longer hours. So it had been a few years since I had seen her.

Back when I had known her, she had very long beautiful hair. The reason I didn’t immediately recognize her now was because her hair was cut short. Apparently, I was the cause of this new hairstyle.

She explained to me that when she found out I had cancer, she felt so filled with compassion for me, that she donated her hair to a charity organization that makes wigs for women who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy. All that beautiful hair donated because she felt compassion for me… Amazing, isn’t it? And if she hadn’t come up to me in the grocery store that day, I never would have known.

It happens to all of us, I believe. We are the recipients of incredible acts of kindness and compassion  and we may or may not ever know about them.

The kindness and compassion of others still amazes me. And it continues to touch my life in a way I never thought possible.

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