I have my appointment at the breast center this morning.
My sons’ birthdays are tomorrow. (They are twins.) I am thinking about a dear friend who died 2 days before the boys’ first birthdays, so five years ago yesterday. She treated me as a daughter throughout my awkward younger years and until her death. Her actual daughter was one of my two very best friends, so she often shuffled us from here to there and picked us up from school when we needed a ride. This was almost every day for a time because her daughter and I ‘stayed after’ for numerous clubs and activities and sometimes just for a chance encounter with the boy we both liked. [I am smiling as I recall this last bit and how silly we were!] She never complained about having me in her home or minivan so often. She said she enjoyed talking to me. And I felt the same way. She became close friends with my mother—they were the same age and both warmhearted gardening Englishwomen with gardening English mothers who were displaced from their homelands. We remained very close. I even lived with her for a year when I left college. Oddly enough, the first house I bought was a side-split almost identical to hers–and just around the corner from her–and was a place where she planted some of the lovely lilies she bred.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer in her 40’s. She was forever changed by it. And not in the good way people sometimes talk about, but in a way that makes my heart ache for her. It was painful and traumatic. And at her young age, isolating, I’m sure.
We should have been celebrating together at my sons’ first birthday party as planned that Saturday five years ago. Instead, I was at her funeral.
I glanced at some of the silk ribbons hanging on the closet door on my way downstairs this morning. She had earned the awards for her prize-winning rabbits. I could hear myself asking her to help me handle whatever happened today.