Don’t just Drive Through the Drive-Through

How to know when you have been in the hospital and writing blogs more than you have been home in a 4 month stretch:  You enter you IPAD 4 digit code into your Garage door keypad.

Anyway-a sweet, touching story for you today. On Sunday,  on my way to meet my parents halfway to pick up my 2 kids and their 3 teenage friends ( that’s FIVE teenagers my parents kept for the weekend…they are saints) AND to swing by the hospital and retrieve ALL my make-up that I left in my room the day before (can you say “chemo brain”?), I went through a drive-through to get myself a treat. I go through this drive-through more than I care to admit, and this day I was waited on by a familiar face. We aren’t friends, but she’s one of those people who if I saw her outside of this establishment, we would say “hello” as if we were.  I was celebrating being free from the hospital and free from Leukemia, so I was wearing a short-haired blonde wig. It took her a minute to recognize me and then she complimented my new haircut. I really wish I was one of those classy people who takes a compliment for what it is and moves on, but I am just not. If someone comments on my dress, I HAVE to blurt out things like, “Thanks! It’s from SAM’S!” or “I know, it was only 3$ at my mom’s second- hand shop!”.  So, as is my nature, when she complimented my hair, I said, “thanks! it’s actually a wig. I  have Leukemia and I am bald!” This could be considered by some as “over-sharing.”  She told me she remembered my long hair ( which is nice, because I don’t, really) and that she likes the short hair better. Bless her heart.

Then, she threw me off by asking what KIND of Leukemia I had, AML or ALL. Most people don’t know to ask this question, unless…they have been touched by it first hand. I told her I had AML ( Acute Myloid Leukemia) and told me she had a son who had ALL. It was about 16 years ago. I asked her if he “recovered.” ( Just so you know, even as a cancer patient myself, I have found there is no “right” or “appropriate” or “sensitive” way to inquire about cancer. It depends on the person. But IGNORING the topic for fear of doing it “wrong” is worse. At least for me, but I am an amateur, still). She said he had not recovered. We both shared a “moment” and a common story that reminded me that God has put people in our paths to ease the pain of doing life alone. Our STORIES connect us. What I have learned from Recovery is to “look for the similarities, not the differences.” But, As I have said before (see blog on LIZARDS),  you have to be LOOKING. You have to be open to hearing stories and sharing your story. At that moment, in the drive-thru, I was so grateful to be one of “those” people who just can’t NOT share their story. I could have said  “thank you very much” and gone on with my day, my agenda. That would be the socially acceptable/desirable thing to do. But God does not waste anything if we are willing to RECYCLE it. I can either whine about having Leukemia or RECYCLE it and use it for something better, newer, CLEANER.

What part of your story is rotting in the TRASH where you THINK it belongs? Get it out, NOW (Pretty please). Transfer it to the RECYCLING BIN and let God transform it into something LASTING for yourself and those God brings your way.

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