I recently met a man I know I will never forget.
It sounds weird to say I'll never forget a complete stranger, but it's true.
When I met this man for the very first time I asked how he was, just as a conversation starter. With a smile, he responded, "I'm not kicking too high today, darlin'." We didn't chat too much during that first visit, but I walked away knowing that I wouldn't forget him.
Then recently, when I wasn't expecting it, I came across that same man again. He waved me over, we made casual chit chat, and then he informed me that his cancer had returned. Right there, in an unexpected place, this stranger told me that 8 years after his original diagnosis, the cancer is back.
He wasn't asking for my sympathy. He just needed an ear to listen. He needed to say it out loud to a stranger who he may never see again. He needed to say it to know that it is real.
I can't stop thinking about him.
It wasn't his recurrence that hurt my heart. That goes without saying. What broke my heart and inspired me the most was that this stranger, this beautiful man with tears rolling down his face, looked at me and said, "I've done it once. I will do it again."
And I do, without a doubt, believe he will.