Ready for more Adventures of Ceej?
Beware, this is a long and emotional one for me. Today’s episode isn’t about me and my health issues, though they’re a part of it, but about the ignorance of some people and the kindness of others.
After a two-hour massage and a nap, I went to my favorite grocery store for fixings for my dinner. Not knowing what I wanted, I chose the scooter instead of trying to walk around. I live with pain every day of my life and I’ve learned to adapt. And after the two-hour deep tissue massage, my body was sore on top of it all. So, after I finish my shopping and am halfway out to my car, I get stopped by this haole woman who seemed offended by me somehow. Here’s the convo:
Ms. Ignorant: Excuse me, but those carts are for people with disabilities and elderly. Being fat and lazy is not an excuse to use them.
Me: You ain’t excused. What I do is none of your business. You need to mind your own.
Ms. Ignorant: I’m just trying to stop you from using the store’s courtesy scooters just because you’re fat.
Me: (I’m in pain so I have very little control and am about to lose my shit) This is your only warning. Walk away before I hurt you for being ignorant.
Ms. Ignorant: Listen, you fat bitch---.
Suddenly, another woman storms up to us.
New lady: You did not just disrespect her.
Ms. Ignorant: This fat bitch is using the scooter because she’s lazy. That’s not what they’re there for.
New lady: (To my surprise, gets in Ms. Ignorant’s face) Are you blind as well as stupid? Can’t you see that she has an obvious physical disability?
Ms. Ignorant: She probably does it because she’s---.
New lady: Are you living her life? No. If you were able to do so for a day, you’d be curled up in a corner, begging to die. Did you know that she’s a three-time cancer survivor? That she’s fighting two autoimmune diseases? She literally has wars within her body and has the mental strength to use the provided tools, so she can live her life.
Ms. Ignorant: I had no idea---.
New lady: (I have to say that I’m enjoying her cutting Ms. Ignorant off every time she speaks.) Because. You. Are. Ignorant. Now walk away before I shove that down your throat.
And surprisingly, Ms. Ignorant walks away.
New lady: (turns to me) CJ, I’m sorry you have to deal with people like that. Here. Let me take those to your car for you. (She gently pulls the bags off my left arm and waits for me to lead the way to my car parked in a handicap spot)
Me: (Not used to people sticking up for me or helping me) Not your fault but thank you. And thank you for sticking up for me. I’m sorry for not remembering, but why do you look so familiar?
New lady: You had chemo with my sister last year. You made quite the impression on her and our family. I was walking in when I overheard one of your conversations with her. You inspired and impressed her.
Me: Oh wow. I remember you now. You would sing softly to her when she wanted to rest her eyes. I hope she’s doing better now. She had such a kind heart.
New lady: (drops her head) She lost the fight in February.
Me: (no control, so two tears fall) I’m so sorry. She was amazing.
New lady: (looks up) She was, thank you. But I have to tell you, she fought hard every day with the joy she learned from you. She wanted me to thank you and give you something.
Me: Oh no, please. I couldn’t.
New lady: It was one of her wishes. They’re angel wing earrings. She said you were her angel during chemo and feels you deserve wings.
Me: (And now I’m a mess.) That’s beautiful. I’m honored.
New lady: Thank you for helping her find joy in every day, no matter how sick she was. May I have your number? We can discuss meeting up, so I can give you the earrings.
New lady: May I give you a hug? This is not just from her, but from me, too. I’m very grateful to you. (Hugs me gently and whispers) You are in our prayers. If there is ever anything you need, please let me know. Anything at all. I’d love to repay your kindness.
W.O.W. Just. Wow. *sigh* My life is never boring.
It’s time for another episode of the Adventures of Ceej. It has been a while and I’ve posted the previous few on my personal Facebook page. However, this one means a lot to me and you’ll see why. My hope in sharing is that my message will touch someone or maybe even inspire them. Please be warned, this is a long one.
Yesterday, I went to get some lab work done. It’s pretty routine for someone like me, who is fighting several illnesses/conditions. Once I was finally in the seat, I had to warn the phlebotomist that I’m a hard stick, meaning it’s hard for them to find a good vein to access in order to draw blood. I even have a port-a-cath in my chest for IV infusions.
The one that called me back had to get someone else to help. When that person came back, he looked at the orders, looked at me with my cane, and whispered, “I’m so sorry for everything you have been going through. I hope things get better for you soon.” How sweet and thoughtful is that? Some may say it’s unprofessional, but to me, his words and the sincerity behind them meant so much to me.
Then, as he was looking for a decent vein, he noticed the tattoos on my right forearm. You see, I have several awareness ribbons. They are for HIV, diabetes, carcinoma, CRMO, mental health, cerebral palsy, miscarriage/still birth, pseudotumor cerebri, breast cancer, cervical cancer, and leukemia awareness. Some of these affect me, others are for people that I care for. He asked about them:
Guy: I hope you don’t have all of these, but if you do, I’ll send some extra prayers up for you.
Me: Thank you. They’re not all for me. They’re for people that I care for.
Guy: That’s quite a tribute.
Me: Even though my wish to take all their pain and suffering onto myself will never come true no matter how hard I wish for it, this is just my way to send them love and prayers every second of the day.
Guy: (looks up at me with a look of surprise) That’s amazing. And really touching. May I call a coworker over and show her your tattoos? I promise it won’t take long.
Guy: (gets up from his stool and goes behind the wall behind me, then less than a minute later, he comes back with a small woman in scrubs like him) Julie, this is Ceej. I want you to see her tattoos.
Julie: (moves her hand to take my wrist) May I?
Me: Of course.
Julie: (gently turns my arm left and right until she sees the pink ribbon, then she gasps) This is a breast cancer awareness ribbon. It’s beautiful.
Me: Thank you. A friend of mine passed away from breast cancer, and an aunt beat it. This is how I send them both prayers and love.
Julie: (tearing up) You’re an angel. (visibly swallows) I’m a breast cancer survivor. Seeing this means a lot to me even though you didn’t get it for me. Thank you.
Me: No thanks necessary, but you’re welcome. From now on, I’ll add you to the list. And you see, I’m a cancer survivor, myself. And I proudly show off my tattoos. Not because I like to show off, but I do it with the hope that I can give someone else hope, even for one small moment. One person did that for me at my lowest moment and I want to share that whenever I can.
Julie: (sucks in a slow breath) That’s a beautiful thing to do. On behalf of everyone suffering from cancer, thank you for the prayers and the pure love of a kindred spirit. (Glances up when she hears someone call her name then looks back at me) I have to go, but may I have a hug? (I acquiesce and hug her warmly, and she whispers) Thank you so much. You have just made my day.
Guy: (smiling the entire time) Thank you for that. She had a hard time. (Glances at the clock) Oh man, I’ve kept you here too long. Let’s get this done.
(He searches my arms and finally finds a vein then proceeds to complete the orders)
Me: Thanks for your time and effort. I’m sorry I’m such a hard stick.
Guy: (stands up and hands me my cane so I can do the same) May I have a hug as well? (Hugs me after I agree) Thank you for making my day, too. I’ve always wanted a tattoo but had no idea what to get. Now I do. Do you mind if I do the same as you have?
Me: I’m honored to have inspired you. Please do it. The more love we spread in this world the better, right? (I pull out my blog business card and write my cell number on the back. I hand it to him.) Please don’t take this the wrong way. (I laugh.) If you do get ribbon tattoos and want to share, please feel free to text me a picture. I’d love to see it, but do not feel like you have to share them with me.
Guy: I will. Thank you again.
Again, I apologize for the long post, but I wanted to share that even when you do something for a friend or loved one, you may be touching and inspiring others. Never be afraid to share love. We need so much more of it in our world.
This episode of AOC is thanks to my trip to surprise my soul sister. It’s funny how something wonderful for you gives you a chance to spread some hope.
My BIL Nick arranged for me to fly to Florida from Washington State to surprise his wife, my soul sister, for her birthday. At the Seattle-Tacoma airport security, I was given the chance to talk to someone who was going through a trying time that I had gone through. You see, I have mobility issues and was taking advantage of the wheelchair assistance service at the airport. As I was having issues standing long enough to go through the scanner, they suggested a pat down with a female agent. I was also given the option of a private room for it. I have no issues with the pat down or having it done right there, so I passed on the private room.
The female agent was friendly and professional, with an attitude designed to get my mind off the fact that she has to do her job and pat me down while in the wheelchair. We started discussing my trip, but then she discovered the port on the upper part of the left side of my chest. Suddenly, her eyes watered. She was starting cancer treatment and had moments where she had a hard time. Even while she did her job, we talked about the tattoo on the inside of my left wrist that says, “be your strength.” We talked about the placement. I put it on the inside of my left wrist as a reminder to be my strength and not give up when I’m losing my lunch and kneeling before the porcelain throne. By the time she was done, she quickly gave me a hug and with tears in her eyes, thanked me for sharing my story. Then she noticed my hoodie and typed my website into her phone and bookmarked it so she could explore it later!
This episode was a great start to my wonderful weekend!
See? My life is never boring.
Posted a few nights ago on Facebook and I can post this now that he knows about it:
A friend called and asked me to come by on my way home. He said he has something for me. Chuckle with me if you read that subtext. Anyway, I'm outside his house and all I hear is, "I don't see nothin wrong with a little bump and grind..." The song is playing and he's singing it like no one's listening. I can see straight into his kitchen and he's dancing, body rolls, hip thrusts and all. I'm biting my lips to keep from laughing out loud. I'm not laughing because he looks funny or can't dance. I'm laughing because he has some very interesting plans and has no problem getting into the mood by listening and dancing to an old, obvious R&B cut! But the man's got some game, choosing a song from my favorite era in music and moving his delectable body to it!
<wink> My life is never boring.
A rude then sweet episode of AOC this time. A few days ago, I went to pick up my medication at my favorite pharmacy within a grocery store. I used the scooter because walking for longer than 10 minutes and standing longer than 5 will make pain spread from my back to both legs, making them nearly useless. Without the pain, I’d be walking, getting whatever exercise I could tolerate.
So, I went in to the grocery store, got the scooter, and began making my way to the pharmacy. I went through the closest aisle that had the least amount of people. You see, I do have that part of me that is embarrassed about using the scooter. I don’t want to be seen as lazy because I’m fat. However, my pain level makes my comfort more important than my pride. As I was going through, I passed two guys. I was still a good 10 feet away when I noticed one of them sneer at me. When I passed by, I heard him distinctly say, “lazy ass will never lose weight using that thing.” Normally, I’d stand up for myself. This time, I did not. I was in too much pain and too sick from other certain medications to drum up the energy to do or say anything. Unfortunately, I just ducked my head to cover my face and the tear that formed. Fortunately, the guy next to him stood up for me. He hit his friend and angrily (at least it sounded like that to me) told him that he was an ignorant asshole and he needed to apologize. Here’s the short exchange I heard:
Nice Guy: (angrily whispering) You ignorant ass. You don’t know her life. What if something happened to Jamie and she had to use these, too? You’d beat anyone who dared to insult her. Apologize to that lady now or I'M going to beat YOU.
Then Nice Guy stepped forward and tapped my shoulder.
Nice Guy: Miss, I’m sorry about my ignorant friend. If you wouldn’t mind, could you please stop so he can apologize?
Me: It’s okay. I know how I look to people. I’m used to people judging me, not knowing my story.
Nice Guy: It’s not right and you deserve an apology from this jerk.
Jerk: (Holding his hand out for me to shake.) I’m sorry, miss. I’m really not a bad person, I swear.
Me: Thank you. I appreciate and accept your apology.
Nice Guy: We hope you get better, miss. We won’t take up any more of your time. Thank you for being gracious to this jerk.
It’s nice to know that there still are good people in this world that will stick up for others, even in front of their friends.
<sigh> My life is never boring.
Until laters beautifuls…be safe and be kind to one another.