I've taken a bit of a vacation from blogging of late. Part of it is time; part of it is that what I have going on presently is not - even on my terms - bloggable. Which sucks, because that's where I seem to get my support and my advice.
On the other hand, I have discovered who my true friends are. They're the ones that have put hours of their lives on hold to listen to me talk ad nauseum. They're the ones who take me out for beers even though they have to work the next day. The ones who watch kids for me when I don't have the energy to parent. The ones who don't tell me what I WANT to hear; the ones who tell me what I NEED to hear.
My kids asked me how I was going to pay my friends back for what they've done for me. I told them I didn't think I could; but that one thing it taught me is how to be if they or someone else was ever in a similar situation. I would "pay it forward", and be the friend that I've so desperately needed in these past few weeks. That's all I can do.
Something else occurred during this particularly difficult time: In the past few weeks I've also discovered that two of my friends have breast cancer. Not "it's just a lump and we're gonna remove it" breast cancer, but "we're removing your breasts and you're gonna have chemo" breast cancer. These are amazing, wonderful, beautiful women who don't deserve to have this kind of hardship in their lives. And I read the reactions of their family and friends - one on a CaringBridge website and the other on her husband's blog about their journey - and I think, this is important. This wasn't brought on by anyone doing the wrong thing or saying the wrong thing. This was out of nowhere, and it will change both of their lives and the lives of their families forever.
Here's an excerpt from my friend's husband's blog that put things into perspective for me. He writes this from his wife's hospital room as she recovers from her surgery:
"One thing that I am really looking forward to is taking long walks with my beautiful bride again. It should only be about 4 weeks, but when you are used to walking nearly every day together for over 20 years, a month feels like an eternity.
There is an interesting phenomenon that both of us have noticed when we walk. We have an amazing cadence. Without trying, we have the same steps, the same stride, the same pace...even our arms are in sync. We could march in the army we are so in sync! What's even cooler is that when we get out of sync - we don't have to work at getting back into a perfect cadence. It just, happens."
I think we all need to be in sync with something in our lives. Maybe that's what my problem was. I felt out of sync with everything. These women going through the devil that is breast cancer have had their whole world go out of sync, yet family and friends rally around them and suddenly there is a rhythm. A rhythm of caring, of supporting, of loving that helps bring back the balance and the sync that they need.
To my stricken friends going through this personal hell right now, I am with you. I pray for you every day and keep up to date on your progress. You are both such strong women that I am confident that cancer has picked the wrong bodies to mess with. You will defeat this, and we will rejoice together someday.
And for my friends who helped me through my struggles - which now pale in comparison? Know that words or deeds can never sufficiently thank or repay you. I am eternally grateful for you. I truly think that God brings people together for a reason, and if this was it, I'm a damn lucky girl no matter what the outcome. And please know that you have taught me how to be a friend - a true friend - and I will either reciprocate to you - or to someone else - someday.
There's a quote that I've been keeping close to my heart these past few weeks, and ironically I saw it posted on my friend's CaringBridge site:
"Faith is being sure of what you hope for, and certain of what you do not see."
Keep the faith, my friends, as I will as well. We are sure of what we hope for, we just need to be certain of what we do not see.