Life likes to throw us curve balls. It’s fate’s way of making sure we are paying attention.
I am a cancer survivor. Which means sometimes things cancer make me feel emotions in technicolor.
Recently, one of my childhood friends lost her mother. I spent the day with both of them the week before her mom passed…. from cancer. I sat with her mom that afternoon for a while by myself as her mom dozed and my friend walked her dog. Her mom murmured here and there in her sleep, and at one point woke, looked at me, smiled and patted my hand, and went back to dozing.
I was glad I had that one final afternoon with both of them.
Yesterday I sat with her at her mom’s house as we went through photos for the memorial service.
It was hard to do, yet it was a beautiful thing. My friend’s mother had all these photos of her family. A lot of people don’t save those photos. It was so cool for my friend to see her history. And we had serious giggles at some dour old Victorian Scotswoman who was one of the unnamed relatives. It’s like she was disapproving of us from the photograph.
My friend’s mother was lovely. Quite the beauty when she was young. We saw her grow up in black and white snapshots, and her parents too. We saw her with her ponies and then horses. Her favorite cat. Her wedding announcement from the front page of the then Sunday Style section of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the New York Times.
As this is all unfolding, another friend from back in the day is dealing with her own news. I hate it when lymph nodes light up like a light on a Christmas tree.
I have something to tell you she said. I was not expecting that news. The news of surgery followed by the now great unknown. Chemo? Radiation? Nothing?
I remember when now over six years ago, I first got my news of what may or may not lay ahead. I remember the feeling. Feeling like the room was swirling or maybe my desk chair was swirling. Only in reality, what was swirling were my emotions.
The unknown components were hard. But I wanted to be ok, so I had to learn to have faith.
I want that sense of faith for my friend. She’s one of the strongest women I know so my money is on her. But I don’t want to just tell her, I want her to read it. So hopefully she will read it.
I want to tell her that I know she’s scared – that is totally normal. But I also want her to know she will get through it. Start small- set goals. First goal? Surgery. Then we see where we are.
I also want to tell her as a friend I cherish her. She is loved.
Bumps in the road. It’s part of life. We need to learn to roll with them. But damn, it’s hard. We would not be human if it wasn’t.
Love the people in your life and believe in them. I am blessed to have these women in my life. And I intend to have both of them around for so many years yet to come.