Sunday, February 22, 2009


Saturday afternoon I was thinking about SXSW. Specifically, I was thinking about what I would wear. I have only just begun to think about which bands I am going to see. Deciding what to wear is easy. Weather and how far you will be walking are the only factors. The music part requires research. (J3, when you make your annual list know that this year we want to focus on rock bands. If you know of some that we should see let us know).

Any-hoo, I decided to swing by Ross Dress for Less to see if I could find any treasures. When I walked into the store, I made a B-line for the dresses. At the end cap of the second dress isle, I saw a woman standing there. She had on a knit cap that was covering her bald head.
She had gone pale and was clutching her belly with one hand and the shopping cart with the other.

I passed her by.

Seconds later, I decided to see if she needed help so I swung my cart around and turned the corner to face her.

Me: “Are you ok?”

Lady: (looking a little surprised to see me) “Uh, ye—yes.”

Me: “you look a little nauseous.” (I figured she had been undergoing chemo or something)

Lady: “No, I’m just holding……pause… I’m just holding on.”
(at this point, I realize that her hand is not on her belly but on where her left breast is, or should be. You can tell that under her shirt there are bandages covering the area. I am not sure if she had a lumpectomy or a mastectomy, but something was taken from her).

Me: I smiled at her, gave her cart a little tap, and said “ok.” And then, I walked away.

What else could I do?
What I could not do any longer was I focus on buying a silly dress. She haunted me the rest of the day. When I woke up this morning, she was still in my thoughts.

“I’m just holding…..I’m just holding on.”

I think she was about to say “I’m just holding my breast.”
Or, “I’m just holding my wound.”

She could not have been older than 40.

I hope she makes it.


Blogger "Miss Bee" said...

Ugh, sad one. Her words were pretty poignant - perhaps she really is just "holding on" and wondering what happens from here. You were probably a ray of sunshine to her thoughts.

3:03 PM  
Blogger j3 said...


i hate cancer.

4:54 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

You'll probably never forget her...which isn't a bad thing.

8:56 AM  
Blogger linda said...

and it's people like you that give others faith in humanity

3:27 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home