My friend Cheryl just found out she has a brain tumor.
Yesterday, I was at the post office counter, securing an “overflow” mail box to accommodate my massive amounts of mail. The line waiting for service numbers about 30 people. My banker friend Cheryl sidles up to me, and gives me a hug. Then, she turns to my post office clerk. This is how it went down.
Cheryl: Hi, Paul(BTW, those who really know him, like me, call him Johnny)! I have a brain tumor, and I can’t drive. I left my keys at home, can you get my mail out of my box while you're helping Janie?
Johnny: I have to finish helping Janie first.
Johnny finishes with me, goes to get my new box keys, then comes back. Asks Cheryl for her ID.
Cheryl: Oh, I don’t have my ID with me. But Janie can verify I’m who I am.
Janie: She really is Cheryl (last name). She’s a VP at (local firm).
He writes all this down. Asks her for her drivers liscense number. Date of birth. She starts rattling off numbers. I stop them. She must be on some major meds, because I know she knows better.
Janie: Girl, if you give out any more info, all these people that are listening will have all the info to steal your identity. You’d better stop.
Janie, turning back to Johnny: And, Johnny, she really does have a brain tumor.
He looks at us, grinning. It hits me. How many people come in there and say that kind of stuff? Rattle off excuses like that?? I bet quite a few.
Janie: No, really. She does.
Johnny finally decides to believe us. He goes to get her mail. And then I turn to Cheryl, laughing and hugging her.
Janie: How long you gonna ride this brain tumor train, chica?
Cheryl: Oh, about a week. My surgery’s scheduled for Wednesday in Dallas.
We both crack up. I look around, realizing we could be the impetus for a riot. People going postal, as it were. This chick just line-jumped 30 people. I realize the ones that can hear our conversation are smiling – they’ve figured out Cheryl is telling the truth.
So. When you think of Cheryl, laugh – because laughter is super sweet at a time like this.
And Cheryl, her family and I? We covet your prayers.