4.22.2009

Our Unsung Hero's

My friend, Malisa, over at Moonlight Hollow, had honored myself and others with the Renee Award. Cher, over the Texas Woman was also one of us that received this award. This award was created for Renee, who is fighting stage 4 breast cancer.
It was created by Renee's friends, Bella and Ces. Bella had the following to say "Renee is one human being who has made such a difference in the lives of many just by being. Her honestly, wit, intelligence, and grit are a tremendous source of inspiration. She can elicit raucous laughter and guffaws in her banter, and then turn right around and offer the most heartfelt, gentle words of wisdom and emotional support. She is a spreader of love,simple and true. And her love is infectious. "This is a brand new award and I have the pleasure and honor of spreading the seed, watching it grow. I hope it finds its way to those who are like Renee: the acorn, a small package becoming a tall and sturdy oak, giving more acorns, becoming tall and sturdy oaks, giving acorns..."

As I read Cher's post last night about her sister, it makes you realize that when we think we are having a bad day and may bitch and moan a tad, we really need get a grip. When you think of those that have serious health issues, or serious life situations they are ALWAYS the ones that are positive and strong. So, I'm dedicating this award to my friend, Crazy Cheryl! She doesn't have a computer, she doesn't have a home, she doesn't have a job, she doesn't have a car, and her health isn't too good either. Cheryl has always been crazy, in a good way. She use to work out in the garden at Country Roads watering and taking care of the plants. She has always marched to her own drummer, alienated herself from all her family, but we all "accepted" Cheryl for who she was. The contagious laughter, the craziness and all just made her the special person she was. I remember on Riley's first birthday, we had the party at my house. Cheryl invited herself, which was awesome, and came with camera in hand, taking pictures of everyone and then sharing the photos with her friends at the stores in Old Towne. I remember she got Riley a garden growth chart, which was fitting since Cheryl is a true gardener.

Over the years, Cheryl would pop in and out of the store to visit us and make us laugh. Last year when she stopped by she told us they had spotted cancer on her lung and it would be okay,"really Sue, it will be okay" is what she told me. I didn't hear from her for a long time, I was worried as were others, but no one knew where to find her. Finally because people remembered she had worked in the store at one time, someone e-mailed me and let me know what happened. Cheryl had to have her lung removed and during the surgery, she had a stroke. She was then put in a convalescent hospital and finally moved to a Board & Care home. Last month, out of the blue when it was really cold outside, Cheryl walks into the store and sits on the bench until I realize she is there. She saw I was busy with customers and didn't want to bother me so she just quietly sat there, content. My heart dropped at the sight of her. If you didn't know her, you would think it was a homeless woman that had stepped inside to get out of the cold. She smiled at me with that crazy smile of hers and I gave her a hug. She told me about everything that she could remember that had happened to her. And I could tell the stroke also had added to the craziness I use to love about Cheryl. We laughed because she couldn't lift her right arm up because of the stroke, but her and I are both left handed so we just laughed because finally it had paid off to be left handed! Before she left I asked if she knew what bus to take to get home, "do you need any money Cheryl" and she just laughed the crazy laugh telling me she was fine, smiled and left. As I watched her walk away through the window of the store, tears just streamed down my face. I couldn't help it and I NEVER cry at the store. Darcy said, "Sue, she'll be okay". But I wasn't sure.

Yesterday I was at the store again, and the last couple of weeks or so have been really trying for me. I've been frustrated and have not had my "head" where I want it to be. I've been pre-occupied. So, as I was rushing to the counter for something, then back again, out of the corner of my eye, who is sitting on my bench, crazy Cheryl! Same goofy look on her face that I love. She was telling me she was now living with some tiny old 80 year old woman from her church. The woman lets her live there for free. She talked about still planning on getting a car, and then all of a sudden she got really excited and says, "Sue, I'm going to take the train this week-end". I was almost afraid to ask to where, but she just wanted to go down to San Juan Capistrano where she use to go. Then she was telling me she is still planning her vacation to Hawaii. It was nice talking about plans and places to go. Her cough is much worse now, and I know when she coughs she sees the concern in my eyes and just smiles through the coughing and says, "oh Sue, this cough is nothing, the doctor says it should go away soon". Then she just smiled and left as Bryce was telling her, "hey, I wouldn't know what bus to get on, good for you for figuring that out". I'm not sure when and unfortunately "if" I'll see Cheryl again, I hope so. But I really needed to see her yesterday. It put my head back where it is supposed to be!! I think we ALL need just to chill out sometimes and think of all the "unsung hero's" that struggle to get through each day of their lives, and never, ever lose those smiles that are always on their faces! Bless their little hearts, in the good way, as my friend Malisa would quickly say!!

2 comments:

Cher said...

Tonight was my turn to tear up, Sue. What a nice post and tribute. God bless your Crazy Cheryl. May she catch the right buses for the rest of her life! Thanks for sharing her.

The Texas Woman

Moonlight Hollow Musings said...

I think I got on the wrong bus about 12 years ago and ended up in East Texas!!! And Texas Woman thinks I'm crazy. You better watch out, because next week, you might look up and see me sitting on your bench!

Thanks for sharing your sweet, sweet story!

Malisa