Back in the elevator at the cancer center, it was just me and a lady with her arms full of ‘stuff.’

She greeted me with a smile and I commented on how much ‘stuff’ she was carrying.

“Oh, I’m so exited about this blanket.  My kids got it for their Dad.  It’s old family photos transferred onto the blanket.”

“I just love the pictures and he does too.”

She was so pleased with this wonderful gift from her kids and as she walked out to the parked cars, I asked her why she was taking it home and she said, “Oh, he’s being released this afternoon.  He’s coming home.”

“That’s great,” I said, “You must be so excited?”

“Well, I’m glad he’s coming home, but he’s going into hospice.”

I just stood there and she stopped smiling.  We were strangers, but I’d just passed through a corner of her life so important, so personal.

I told her how sorry I was to hear this news.  She tried to find that smile again, as she thanked me and said there was nothing more the doctors could do for her husband.  They had done their best.

By then the special blanket was in the car and she was off to get more ‘stuff.’

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