Life Lessons with Jaqueline


You know that old saying, if you don’t have anything nice to say, shut the hell up? Or something like that. Well, I suppose that’s why I haven’t been around much lately. There’s loads of content on the back burner while school and work and health issues have filled and overfilled my plate. It’s a great thing, though, to be immersed in learning and helping, but I’ve missed you!

After a particularly stressful day last week, I left work early. I picked up the necessary supplies for my homework project and while I was at the art store, found this great deal on book binding board; the kind of deal you just can’t pass up. So I’ve got my purse and this giant shopping bag with a very large sheet of book board (what essentially looks like cardboard) with me, and here she comes around the corner with a smile on her face,

“You must be an artist. Ooh and I like your dress,” she said.

Thank you.

“My name is Jaqueline,” enunciating every syllable, especially the QWAA.

Lovely to meet you Miss Jaqueline, my name is Brianna.

I was checking One Bus Away to see when the bus was coming, then absent-mindedly said the results  aloud. The bus’ll be here in 12 minutes. Just then a guy walked up to the time-table chart to see when the bus was coming but heard me announce it and thanked me instead.

“Oh great, I wanted to go around the corner to have a cigarette, but I always miss the bus.”

Jaqueline said, “yes, please, go as far away from me as possible.”

“I was planning to,” said the gentleman.

You should have plenty of time, but I’ll holler if the bus shows up early.

“Thank you!”

Jaqueline explained that she had a rare form of cancer and went on to say that, “any day you can sit upright and speak your mind is a good day. I’ve been under hospice care twice, once when I was 89 and again when I was 92. They just didn’t know how stubborn a New York Jewish woman can be until they met me. I’m not going anywhere.”

In an instant I felt better about the world and the relatively meager issues that’d made my morning stressful. I begged Jaqueline for this photo, and she eventually agreed so that I could share her beautiful smile with you. Remember that you are strong and certainly not alone. There’s always a struggle going on somewhere and you can overcome anything.

Have yourself a sunshiny day,


Author: Brianna Wray

I'm an artist in Seattle just living the dream.


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