I know just about every walker in my neighborhood.  I’ve been walking these parts for 25 years and I’m on a first name basis with just about every dog within a three mile radius of my house.

So when I spotted what looked like a cross between a yellow lab and a German Shepard making his way up a hill this afternoon, it wasn’t the dog that caught my attention, but the young girl who was at the other end of the leash.

She was bald. Cancer bald.

There were wisps of new hair growth near her forehead, a few clumps of hair around her neck, but the rest of her head was bald.  And she was pale.  When she spotted me, I could tell she wanted to hide.  Her free hand immediately went up and landed on her head.  She had nowhere to go, so she smiled.  I smiled back and commented on what a beautiful day it was and how lucky we were to be out in it.

She answered back not with words, but with a much bigger smile.

Message received.

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