Thursday was an adventure. I hopped on a bus, then a second bus, and arrived at the Ballard library to take advantage of the free tax help. Free tax help? How wonderful is that! When it came to my turn, I pulled up my chair to speak with Judy. She appeared to be in her sixties, and I noticed that the hair around her ears was white and wispy, yet on the top it was carrot orange. She was very helpful, but at first, she didn't want to review my receipts for an itemized deduction. She scoffed and said, "Since you're married, there's no way you can beat the standard deduction of $11,400." My face flushed, and I said, "Actually, I have cancer and quite a bit of medical bills." Instantly her entire demeanor changed, and I realized her orange hair was a wig. She turned to me, with a half smile, and said, "I'm just about to go through my third round of chemo, the coming round is just for insurance - I'm beating it. My sister, who was Harvard educated died of breast cancer at age 34, along with my aunt, and I knew odds were good so I wasn't exactly surprised."
Here we were working on my taxes, complete strangers, discussing intimate details of her life. She seemed lonesome, brimming with pent up emotion like a bathtub overflowing with water. Judy talked, and talked, and I listened. I understand how much I've needed a good listener at times. We never discussed my cancer, or my situation, only my financials. It was refreshing. And, in the end, I felt like I was able to give her something valuable in return for her help. It was a beautiful reciprocation, and I was grateful that life had brought us together.
2 Inches of peeled ginger
2 Inches of the entire diameter of a green cabbage