September 01, 2013

I Know A Woman

I Know A Woman
By John R. Greenwood

I know a woman don't you? She's fighting a fight. She's stronger than any man I know. Her gloves are off and her heart is cranked up high. Do you know her? She's your neighbor, your relative, your coworker's mother, wife or sister. She's the woman that waits your table, takes your reservation, writes your prescriptions. You know who I mean. That woman with the larger than life spirit who does for everyone around her without hesitation. That woman you just passed in the market, that's the one. She's on her way to war today. They call it chemical warfare-- a war on her body. Inside that body another war rages against a formidable foe. One who snuck up while she wasn't looking and tried to kick her legs out from under her, but she jumped and it missed. It kept kicking and she kept jumping until they both collapsed in exhaustion. You may not have recognized her but you passed a women today who's been battling for her life. You couldn't tell because she was smiling while shopping for her family. You might have walked by her on the street as she headed to pick up her little ones at day care. The little ones who don't even know what cancer is, they just know every mention of it elicits hugs and tears and I love you's. Then there's that other women you stood next to at the bank last week. She was there drawing cash from her secret savings account. She told the teller she was going on vacation. The teller smiled and said she was jealous and told her to have a nice time. The teller had no way to know the cash was going to pay the power bill. Missed work lightened the family income and they just hadn't planned on going to war with a disease. The woman I know is everywhere. She needs to be. She can't just call a timeout. Be mindful when you pass a smiling face, it may be a mask with tears underneath. 

Dedicated to a woman I know; a woman you know; a woman we don't know...

* This piece is for anyone fighting a battle with cancer. It was written for a someone outside my family but always in our thoughts and prayers. 


  1. great writing, it really makes us stop and think!!

  2. Yes, I do know this woman. Excellent writing! Wow.

    1. I only wish I had the strength of this one.