I said, with a big smile on my face. "Yes?" she timidly responded. It was the first time that I had seen her - up close. She definitely has had a hard life and exudes an overwhelming sadness that is slightly tempered by her engaging smile and once-upon-a-time-pretty eyes. "I wanted to thank you for being an inspiration to me." I replied. "An inspiration? Why?" she asked with a defensive tone.
I introduced myself and told her a condensed version of my story and how while trying to endure the mile long walk to and from the train each day, I would think of her and how she persevered in the midst of physical difficulties and that pushed me to keep on going until I was able to walk the full mile again - gaining back my strength that had been robbed during transplant. She told me her name was Mary and that she didn't feel very inspiring. Before I left her that day, I made sure she knew that she was an incredible inspiration in my eyes.
I periodically still see Mary during my brisk walk down Canal Street on the way back to the train and I, of course, stop and check in with her, walking at her pace, slowly, resting every half a block or so and being eternally grateful that she helped me back onto this road of life - let's go!
for you never know