"Excuse me. I'm sorry to interrupt you ..."
It was Saturday, mid-morning, and I was sitting in the middle of my favorite café - Real Food - reading on my Kindle and enjoying an omelet (avocado, bacon, Monterey Jack) with toast. I'm reading the fourth book in The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and was concentrating on Rand al'Thor's escapades so it took a few seconds for me to realize the woman was talking to me. I looked up and saw a thin blonde woman, my age or a bit older, holding a to-go container, and wearing a blue-checked shirt and dangly earrings.
- she continued -
"... but I was sitting over there and ... well, I read energies..."
Say what? What is happening? Who is this person? At least, these are the questions I'm fairly certain were written across my face.
"... and you have SO MUCH energy surrounding you. I just wanted to tell you. And I drew what it looks like."
My attention is fully on the woman now. It isn't every day that a stranger comes up to you and tells you that you have lots of energy surrounding you. And certainly not when you're wondering when in the day your most recent round of chemotherapy is going to zap your ... well ... energy for the day.
My cancer was caught early but it's an aggressive form and I'm half-way through treatment. I'm bald, anemic, and my feet hurt. To say this was not the 2016 I expected is an understatement.
The woman produced a napkin on which she had written: "Red. 3 Hearts." And then she drew the same along with an eye peeking up from just beneath the hearts.
"So much energy. It's a good thing."
I was stunned. I know I said, "Thank you," but hadn't even begun to process what had just happened before she was gone. Poof. Out the door.
She was leaving and already putting her to-go container in a little red car directly in front of the café when I realized that I would regret not thanking her again for this odd but fantastic little exchange.
I got up, weaved my way through the tables, went outside and asked if I could thank her again. We hugged. I told her that her words meant a lot to me, especially with "this" - my "this" included a general wave toward my head and its vague yet explanatory baldness.
She stopped, looked me directly in the eyes and said with a self-possessed confidence of one secure in their knowledge, "Oh ... you're going to be fine."
And just like that, I believed her.
What a wonderful gift to give a complete stranger. God bless her.
And God bless the color red, three hearts, and a shot of hope during a rough year.