I traveled to the northern part of the U.S.A. to do a book reading/signing at a Barnes & Noble bookstore for Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, and to seek future opportunities to spread the word about ovarian cancer. The audience consisted mainly of friends, but four people who were there because of God’s plan or purpose. One woman read about the event in the newspaper where there was a two-sentence announcement. She was a 14year, Stage III or IV survivor. “When I was diagnosed, I didn’t think I’d see another Christmas.” We hugged each other knowing we are sisters doing what we can to help other women.
As I gave my presentation there was a woman in the front row sitting alone. Every time I looked in her direction, her eyes were on me and she wore a beautiful smile. She came to get information for her neighbor, who was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Her neighbor did not feel well enough to come, so this young lady gave her neighbor the gifts of kindness, generosity, and her time. God bless them both.
“Please sign my book for a dear friend who has ovarian cancer. She planned on coming herself, but was unable to,” were the words from a smiling elderly lady. When I handed a book to her I noticed a brace on her left wrist. I gently placed my hand on it, and she said, “Oh, my husband has Alzheimer’s and he….” I wrapped my arms around her and told her that she was an angel so willing to help her friend and yet be there constantly for her husband.
For the third lady, all I know is that her name was Jane, and that she was in Barnes & Noble to buy a book or two to read on her trip to Ireland the next day. While she browsed the shelves, she heard my voice due to the microphone, and being drawn to the subject she stood in the back and listened. She bought the last book. “Here is a picture of me and my mother. She died 4 months ago from ovarian cancer.” We were once two strangers, but now new friends. Just to listen to her talk about her mother, my shoulder to cry on, and my arms around her appeared to be what she needed most at that time.
There is no doubt in my mind that God led each of these women to be at that bookstore that night and at that time. I will never be able to thank God enough for bringing them into my life. They each demonstrated different ways God works through each of us. Often we call it serendipity. Thank you, God.