From the early stages of my diagnosis, pregnancy, and life craziness, I have been so utterly mindful of the amazing people in my life. However, the last seven months have been even more astounding to me. The capacity of friends, family, strangers even, to step up and simply be beautiful, has been breathtaking. (There have been a few weirdos, but really the energy put towards them is useless), I will spare that description and focus on the lovelies.
Friendship: I’ll start here and write a different post on family…
To name them all here would take pages of descriptions, but I want to honor and write about their beauty so maybe I will, within a general scope, though you all know who you are! Let me see where this takes me, as it has been difficult to put into words how truly blessed I am with love, positivity, general assistance, worry, laughter, wit, and those that carry the anger and sorrow for me. It’s a burden that I can’t bare and my friends take it on, and disguise it, and then completely astound me with their love. I need more words to express the love I feel when my friends cradle me….even when I’m cranky and weary, or can’t focus on what the hell they say…they keep it real and let me be. That is a gift.
A beginning description of what my champions accomplish is diffiult to gather. I have had friends fly in from the east coast to assist with childcare while my hubby travels for work, no questions asked, if I needed help…they arrived. Along with the help, it is so heartwarming to see my closest girlfriends bond with my son, share their love, time, energy to keep me grounded. Locally, my hubby’s dear friend from high school and my lovely girlfriend helps one day a week with so much love and so much tenderness and such beautiful mothering skills; she is truly a woman to learn from. My friends and our neighbors have rallied together to devise their availability schedule and consistently check in to ask of our needs, packages arrive at the door, and help with a moments notice is never questioned when things get shuffled and shaky. Sometimes, we arrive home to a gardening crew taking care of our yard, with blossoming flowers and fresh farm eggs on the doorstep. The bonds I have formed here have exploded. My close girlfriends have always been true champions, but lately I see it so deeply. In the beginning, it was difficult to admit how hard it is for me to care for my son alone, but these friends have made it seamless. It truly takes a village, and I have one.
Afar, I receive text messages, notes, gifts, love, and even a stopover visit from a girlfriend who lives in Geneva, and by way of a conference in SF, she jetted up to Seattle to be with me for a few hours. Such a needed visit, how many astonishing women surround me! I love the funny gifts I get in the mail, like the Ghandi pen from a close friend who has had her own mountains to climb. Distant and past friends from Facebook, or heard through grapevine friends, have reached out in amazing proportions with love, inspirations, music, and simple thoughts for wellness. Prayers are abound from all religions and spirituality. My husband’s high school friend, whom I had never met, had reached out to me with offers of free massages and childcare help. My busy yoga instructor made me a lovely meditation cd, and our favorite restaurant people always offer to make us food.
My chemo visitors also take the cake and never disappoint. I have received three prayer quilts by the talent of my friend’s mothers…they brighten the chemo room. Make-up lessons, errands, laughs, cries, wisdom, chauffeurs, and bag carriers…I am never without love or assistance. If I need alone time, we dim the lights and sleep together, escaping reality, watching buffy, eating gummy bears, or if I need distractions we play scrabble, and make up funny chemo drug names and sometimes actually talk about cancer.
Our employers, my former employer have also been extraordinarily supportive, generous, and caring.
Our family has been extended tenfold…
In the beginning, this independent woman was hard pressed to accept help from even my hubby, let alone friends, neighbors, acquaintances… Now I understand the value in receiving such heartfelt gifts. It gives those around us a place to put their love without demanding my energy, it also is simply true friendship, and how can one deny such a blessing.