Hugs, smiles & tears

So I sat down and cried today, a lot and more than once.  With as hard as it is for me to say that out loud, I’m glad I did.  There are a lot of people out there who need to know I’m human, I have emotions and probably too many emotions for one person.  I need you to know though, i didn’t cry because I’m  hurt or because I have been hurt or betrayed.  I’m crying because sometimes people need someone to cry with them.

Now its story time.  I want everyone to hear the amazing love and kindness I have witnessed and how fragile life really is.

Two years ago, a couple wandered up to my bar needing a drink.  I can’t remember right now if he was drinking Jack or Crown, but she was definitely drinking Smirnoff vodka.  They were silly and happy and just generally good people.  We hit it off instantly and they stayed and cut up for hours with me. Over the next couple months I saw this couple more than expected considering they lived out of state.  They would sit and carry on with me and Steph for hours.

One day when they came in to see me, I was waiting on a table as well as my bar.  It was a couple and 3 of their kids who I know very well.  They had been shopping for Christmas and stopped in to relieve some stress and feed the kids.  I noticed my bar guests [we are gonna call them Jo & Jane] were talking and watching the table in the corner that I was waiting on;  when Jo said “I wanna pay their tab…”  I was shocked.  Jo had no way of knowing these guests, nor their story or had any reason to want to do that.  So I inquired as to why and he informed me that Jane and him didnt have kids, that it just didnt happen for them and that he couldnt imagine how hard it can be during the Christmas season and our economy to take care of kids not to mention 3 kids at that.  I didnt know how to respond.  I transferred their tab without question.  Jo said that it was the least he could do.     Its rare to see that kind of kindness these days and I knew then even more than I had known before that Jo & Jane were special people.

Jo & Jane showed up last summer, it had been forever since I had seen them.  They were so happy to see me, but I noticed something was different.  Jane had fallen ill.  They informed me that the doctor found cancer, and not just the beginning of cancer, but stage 4…there are only 5 stages.  As they sat at my bar, we reminisced about the past and talked about strength and love and the “plan” since this popped up so unexpectedly.  They ate and finally had to go.

I feel like I saw Jo again before January of this year, but the news has been so shocking my memory has blurred.  I’m almost positive I saw him in September or October but I cant remember.  He walked up on my bar in January though, the day before my birthday and I could see the bad news written all over his face.  It was then that he informed me that the cancer had paralyzed her and there wasn’t much they could do.  I tried so hard not to cry.  He told me that day that he loved her and he would stand by her no matter what happened, because he married for better or worse, no matter which came first.  He told me of watching men leave their wives sides in the hospital because they couldn’t take the pain;  men who left their dying wives because they couldn’t handle it;  I was appalled.   I didnt understand why he was at my bar and not with her…he explained that they were trying out her independence because he had to go back to work.  He smiled as he told me the little victories she texted/called him with because she could do things on her own.  He said to me that day, true love sticks around no matter how hard it gets.  He said thats my wife and I’m not leaving her side…and I tried so hard not to cry in front of him.

I found out today that the chemo was deemed ineffective and they moved her back home and saying she has two to six months left.  He uploaded a picture today of her smiling face and I cried.  Even though she knows her time is running thin, she still smiles.  She is a beautiful amazing woman and she has really helped me realize how unpredictable life can be.  She is blessed with an amazing man as well.  Jo & Jane were put in my life for a lesson I needed.  They could have walked up on anyone’s bar that day, I could have had the day off, but I didn’t and they definitely sat down at my bar and taught me so much more about love and life than I could possibly have imagined at that point.

I told him tonight that I wanted to come see them soon and what he said to me makes me happy to be who I am.  It makes me proud to be loud and happy and annoying and everything that people say is too much some times.  He said “that laugh of yours would do us all some good.”  That makes me smile to know that I can brighten someones day.

Sometimes I wish I could wrap people up in my arms and shelter them from the world.  I know so many good people that have gone through hard times that they didnt deserve.  I guess at the end of the day God has a plan and a lesson for all of us  but it is so hard to see sometimes.  So tonight I’m crying for everyone who needs someone to cry with.  Whether its cancer, cheating spouses, irresponsible family or whatever it might be.  My heart goes out to you and I have enough hugs to go around, because sometimes, most times, a hug and a smile can be an emotional band-aid.

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