Winks from God


The other day, my son and I stopped into Starbucks for a little treat. As we settled in at a table outside, a woman seated near us walked over and asked me how I was doing.

This might seem a bit odd since I didn’t know her, but I was just wearing a ball cap that day (as I do most weekends), so it was clear I’d lost my hair. I knew she could easily see that I’d been through chemo.

I told her how treatment was going, and she offered some words of encouragement. Then I asked her if she’d been through this, and she admitted that she was a breast cancer survivor, as well, and told me her story.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. Since I started treatment and lost my hair, I’ve had several complete strangers approach me in public with words of encouragement. And these strangers were all survivors themselves.

A few weeks ago a woman (also a survivor) came up to me in a restaurant and told me to keep up the fight. And on the day before my brain MRI, a woman (another survivor) in the drug store told me I was going to be OK–a message I desperately needed to hear that day.

As I thanked the lady at Starbucks for coming over to talk, I told her this keeps happening to me. She just smiled and said, “Yes, it happened to me, too. I call them winks from God.”

I love that. And I also love that there’s this inherent sisterhood among women who’ve faced this nasty disease. It’s as if we have a sixth sense about one another, and can spot a sister from a mile away. And what’s even cooler is we’re not afraid to reach out and offer love and support, even to someone we don’t know.

I’ve decided that once I get to the other side of this, I will do the same for other women I encounter. Being someone else’s wink from God is the least I can do.