Age (or threat of death) could not dim those hazel eyes, filled with so much life and intelligence.
“So what stands out in your volunteering as a special moment?” I asked.
She smiled. “At the gift shop late one night,” she said, “I had almost closed when a big Spanish family came, maybe six or seven people. They were so happy I was able to relate to them. Their attitude made it worthwhile for me to stay the extra 15 minutes or so.”
“How much did they spend? “ I asked.
“Over a hundred dollars,” she said proudly.
Then she looked up at me, her hazel eyes laughing as she made sure I got the right importance. ” Money is not important. I get much more out of working here than they could ever, ever pay me.”
“Do they pay you?” I asked.
“Of course not, but being a volunteer allows me to be part of something worthwhile.”
This was her story: She had had cancer and it had spread to her liver. She followed the standard therapy guidelines, surgery and chemotherapy but she had decided she was not ready to die.
“I just wasn;t ready to die,” she said.
So she made a strong decision to live and within days was given a chance to be a part of a special study for a new cancer drug which saved her life , no side effects..
“Yet you didn’t go back to work?” I watched her count out the change, far faster than I could ever do and I also keep a store.
“There are parts of my brain were impaired by the chemo.” she said, ” I may not be perfect but I decided I would still function and contribute. See here, this machine tells me exactly how much change to give. . . ”
Not just beautiful, not just intelligent but also practical.
I admired her.
“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”