Day One Hundred Sixty-Five…

Valentine’s Day means cards, flowers, and of course chocolate. For me, it also meant day three of after-school professional development.  It was my turn to start the session off and so I stood in the middle of the room and began by thanking everyone for coming. Teachers were laughing and chatting with each other, so I smiled and waited. Then, all of a sudden a teacher looked at me, opened her eyes wide and shouted, “Jenn, oh my god! You look amazing. I didn’t really notice you there before, but you look awesome!” It was strange. On one hand, it was nice that she noticed, on the other, I felt embarrassed.  So, I just smiled and said thank you.

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On my way home, I stopped at Walgreens to buy little gifts for my family.

Happy Valentines Day
Happy Valentine’s Day 🙂

I was rushing as I walked through the aisles of Walgreens. I was on the hunt to get presents quickly so I could get home. I was holding cards and candy when all of a sudden I heard, “I used to write greeting cards.”  I looked up to see a very tall older man smiling down at me. He wore glasses with dark thick frames and a grey Breton Cap I could tell that he had a story to tell, and in that moment I could have said something polite and walked away, or I could decide to be present with this stranger.

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He told me about how his brother, who has since passed on, would do the illustrations, and that he would write the verses. Being a fellow writer, I said, “Writing is something that never leaves you.” His cheeks dimpled as he smiled and nodded his head in agreement. One of the boxes of chocolate I was holding had a basketball on it. He looked down at the box and said “I used to play baseball. You know, I’ve lost my taste for chocolates since I began chemotherapy. Things taste different now.” He had already survived cancer once. He asked me if I was going out to eat, and then told me how he and his wife had already been to dinner because “Old people like early dinner.” I laughed and said, “I like early dinner too.” Sometimes people just need a connection, at this moment that’s what this man needed, so why not me? I thanked him for sharing his story with me, and then he said, “I really can’t help myself, it’s therapeutic for me.”  


I will continue to look for good while facing my awkward moments head on.  I am so grateful I’m learning how to be in the world without eating my emotions and that I am making strides towards goal. Thank you for reading.



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