When she entered a room she commanded attention.
She was strikingly beautiful.
She wore a classy black cocktail dress and gorgeous high heels. She was thin, blonde and just absolutely stunning.
I never met this woman before but saw her from afar at a recent family function. She was the kind of woman who lit up the room and as I continued to watch her, I was envious of her.
I wanted to be thinner – thin just like her. I wanted to be blonder – just like her. I wanted to rock that short cocktail dress and high heels – just like her. I wanted to command attention from everyone in the room – just like her.
From the outside, this woman appeared to have it all.
A few moments later, my sister-in-law came over with a glass of wine and sat next to me. She saw me watching that woman from across the room and she whispered, “I can’t even imagine. She has a husband and a twelve year-old son. It’s so tragic.”
“Tragic? What do you mean?” I asked.
I was completely confused.
“Oh, they didn’t tell you?”
“Tell me what?”
My sister-in-law’s eyes welled up.
“Heather, she has cancer. It’s terminal.”
The woman who I was staring at – the one that I wished I could be more like – is currently battling cancer and slowly, she’s losing the battle.
I turned my head in absolute disbelief and in that moment, I saw my husband through the kitchen window. He was playing in the yard chasing my children. They were playing, laughing, living.
There I was just moments before wishing I was a little more like that woman in the black dress but the crazy part is, she probably saw me from across the room and wished she was a little more like me. Or the person sitting next to me.
It’s amazing how you think from the onset some people may have it all – but the reality is, you never truly know what people are dealing with.
I got up from the kitchen table and quickly walked towards the door. Once outside, I ran to my kids. I hugged them a little tighter and grabbed my husband’s hand.
I didn’t want to let go.
And about that stunning woman in the little black dress that I didn’t have the pleasure to formally meet that day? Well, she’s another person who is etched in my mind for a lifetime.