Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Jewelry Lady

We're now up to 9 artists at the Co-op I'm managing. I have the luxury of pretty much flitting in and out of the shop, tending to 'important' business-like stuff but every once in a while I get the opportunity to linger and learn a little bit about each of the girls.

Last night I made an off-hand comment to the 'Jewelry Artist'. I asked her if she'd had anything to eat, after spending the entire day at the shop. When she said, "No." I teased, "So you subsist on nothing more than coffee & cigarettes?" That's when she said, "Well after I was shot I don't have much of a stomach left, so I don't need to eat much."



"Yes" she replied. "I worked at a Burger King and one night I was robbed."

"Did you refuse to hand over the money?"

"No, I gave him the money and just as I was telling him there was someone else in the back, my co-worker came out carrying a armload of pans... When he saw the gunman, he dropped the pans. This startled the gunman who shot me and then my co-worker." "I was the lucky one" she said. "I was shot in the gut but my 15 yr. old co-worker, working his first job, was killed."

I guess in an attempt to lighten the mood a bit she followed with, "But they didn't get rid of me that easily, I went back."

I had to ask, "How can you even consider working in retail after something like that, I'd be terrified!"

"For a time, that's exactly the way I felt... The only place I'd go is to the physician and the grocery store and then I'd hide in my house... But I knew I couldn't do that forever, so I fought back."

I then asked her if that's why she walks with a cane?

"No" she said. "I walk with the cane because I was smashed in the back with a heavy metal fire door, while I was crouched down doing an inventory of salt packets, yes, you have to inventory EVEN the salt packets, at the restaurant where I worked. The only way to get through the heavy door was to put all your weight against it. One of the guys I worked with did so, I was on the other side and the door hit me squarely in the back, with such force, it shattered 4 of my vertebrae."


I've come to the conclusion that there are some people who refuse to let life ground them and it's these people who I hold in high esteem. Because there are some who have dealt with far less, who think the world somehow owes them. But people like 'The Jewelry Lady', push on with an attitude of refusing to give up on the business of living a full life.

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Blogger lime said...

wow! just wow!

and i have to say, your last paragraph i came to the same conclusion a long time ago. it's mind boggling isn't it?

another conclusion i've come to is we just never have any idea what sorts of stories people have until we take the time to listen.

10:28 AM, December 01, 2009  
Blogger EmBee said...

I know! I wonder the same thing. There are millions of stories out there and as I discover each one my mind is continually blown.

10:53 AM, December 01, 2009  
Blogger Katy said...

Wow. Rock ON jewelry lady! I'm going to bookmark this post to read every time I get frustrated with homework or kids or other crap that just isn't that big of a deal in the big picture.

3:11 PM, December 01, 2009  
Blogger Nature Girl said...

Wow...that makes me feel so petty for the "little things" that I constantly gripe about in comparison. What a wonderful example of the human spirit she is! What kind of jewelry does she make?
This coop thing sounds really cool!

6:49 PM, December 01, 2009  

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