Ignorance, Kindness, and Gratitude
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.