Yesterday I learned that a cashier at the cafeteria where I work and study had suddenly passed away over the weekend.  Flowers and a card at her register announced her passing.  I only met her from time to time when I visited the cafeteria, but now that she’s gone I miss her.  She was one of those people who had a small impact on my life that I didn’t notice until something happened to make me realize what an impact she had.  The first time I remember talking to her was when I handed her some money to pay for lunch and unwittingly told her how much change to give me.  I’m used to interacting with cashiers who sometimes have difficulty counting small change because they rely too heavily on the register to tell them how much change to give back.  I unintentionally insulted her by doing the same to her.  She was a veteran cashier.  I could see it in her eyes that she was put off by my observation and told me with raised eyebrows, "Yes, I KNOW how to count change."  Oops, my mistake.  I didn’t apologize and recused myself from the awkward situation, but I realized my error and afterwards went out of my way to go to her register and treat her with respect.  By Christmastime we exchanged holiday greetings and a smile.  I didn’t see her again.  She was one of those people who briefly pass through your life, people you may never know affected your life.  In her case I found out that she had passed away recently, although I don’t know what happened.  Out of respect for her I don’t want to know.  The flowers and card I saw at her register was touching.  I’m glad that the cafeteria management left her register vacant this week to honor her passing.  It’s the least that they could do.  If I could tell her I would tell her that at least in my case she touched my life in a small way, and for that I’m grateful.


Books by MG EdwardsMG Edwards is a writer of books and stories in the thriller and science fiction-fantasy genres. He also writes travel adventures and children’s books. A former U.S. diplomat, he served in South Korea, Paraguay, and Zambia before leaving the Foreign Service to write full time.

Edwards is author of six books. His memoir, Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill, was finalist for the Book of the Year Award and the Global eBook Award. He has published four children’s picture books in the World Adventurers for Kids Series: Alexander the Salamander; Ellie the Elephant; Zoe the Zebra; and a collection featuring all three stories. His book Real Dreams: Thirty Years of Short Stories is an anthology of 15 short stories.

Edwards lives in Taipei, Taiwan with his family. He has also lived in Austria, Singapore and Thailand. For more books or stories by M.G. Edwards, visit his web site at or contact him by e-mail at or on Twitter @m_g_edwards.

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1 Comment

  1. Unknown's Gravatar Unknown
    September 20, 2005    

    hallo sir…………….iam a young art worker,im interesting with art and culturein this beauty earth,just art can make me feel what this life for,,,?sir,,is korea have a special culture,,,,like aust with aborigin(im so sorry my langguage is bad sir,,,,,,,)if in my country,much art and culture and all is differend,but i feel so sad,couse many corruption too,and to little person care about art and culture,they follow another culture and forgot with they"re own culture,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,im sorry sir,meybe wrong i tell u about this,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,nice to know u and … sincerelly saul art soul

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