From the archive: Diner in Ramsey, New Jersey

So it was a REALLY hard week and I was sitting in a diner in Ramsey, New Jersey waiting for my car to be checked out when this waitress walks by and suddenly, all of the hairs on my arms stand up.

I look up. She looks completely normal – and she has a really nice haircut – a short bob, frosted in a subtle, unfrosted way. I like how it curls under her chin.

“Really nice haircut,” i say.

“It’s a wig,” she whispers, leaning in.

So ensues an hour long conversation about chemotherapy and the bunch of earthbound  angels who saved her life: her coworkers, who pooled their tips (and their sick days) so that she could get the time and care she needed; an oncologist and a surgeon who donated their services because she had no health insurance.

Her story is filled with so much beauty and light that both of us wind up crying (and hugging. Of course there was hugging! What a beautiful person she is!)

When I tell her I write stories like hers for a living, she cocks her head to the side. “You’re kidding,” she says. She laughs. “Well, I’ll be.”

We talk some more. She leaves to pick up her husband. I sip a second cup of tea and sketch out her story in an email for my friends at the magazine.

This is what happens now. Every day some miraculous meeting, some inexplicable encounter with grace. 

On the speakers at the diner, a love song. And all around me, giggling, literally howling with laughter at their cosmic joke, are these clever, sneaky-pants angels who turn every moment of my life into a magical mystery tour.

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  • Callahan Pope McDonough

    Hey Amy, Thank you for this post a welcome inspiration this morning. So touching, the waitress, you for being fully present. Love songs+giggling.
    Peace n’hugs

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