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.