For the past 3 years I've been going to the same hairdresser. She runs her salon out of her home now, but it used to be from a little shop in a nearby suburb.
She offers a nanny service, so whilst you have your hair cut your child(s) are looked after by a qualified childcare person, in a room adjoining the salon.
I have told her lots of things. She's told me some and is never shy of an opinion, but has never said much about the cancer that her body had, then fought and for a while, beat.
She has 3 young boys, the oldest is about 11, I think.
I called to make an appointment but there was no answer. I got a call back the next afternoon, her old assistant/apprentice (both terms are valid, surely) who said she was coming back up to work because Jo was having some time off.
I assumed the worst, but didn't expect it. I wonder if that's how she felt?
Word filters through, quickly. It's back, all through her.
I think about ways I can help, could I cook meals maybe?
I don't know her well, really. Yet I feel a connection to her, a sense of familiarity and friendship. She certainly knows some about me. She was easy to talk to, despite her strong opinions.
She made me feel validated, she made me look good and she made me laugh. I feel a deep sadness for her. Her family.
I wonder how many people will say the wrong thing. Or even say the right thing. If there is such a thing. How many sympathetic looks she will receive. How she will tell her story.
Maybe she'll beat it. Maybe it will all be okay. We'll just wait and see. Maybe it will be alright.