Last week, I dug out this picture of my best friend and me. It’s one of my favorites. Those were happy, carefree times. I think this was taken ca. 2001. Obviously, we were dressed up for carnival, ready to hit the parties in town.
My best friend and I, we’ve known each other since elementary school. That is a freaking long time, guys, and sometimes I can’t believe we’ve known each other for three decades (what?!).
We weren’t always bestest, closest friends. You know how it is, how friendships work when you’re kids. One day, you’re besties, the next day, you don’t want anything to do with each other. Friendship is a strange (somewhat ungraspable) thing when you’re little and you really only come to appreciate it for what it really is much, much later, but she always was in my close circle and I think we’ve really become best friends in 7th grade (give or take a year).
I am so thankful for having her in my life, someone who has been by my side since childhood. We’ve been through stuff together. Crushes, heartaches, triumphs and let downs. We’ve been on school trips to Prague and Austria, at a summer camp in Italy, and after we graduated high school, we took a roadtrip to Venice, Italy together. We were 19 and I think our parents went crazy with worry if we would make the 11-hour drive. It was a fantastic adventure and unforgettable time (and yes, we made it).
Since then, we’ve spent a huge chunk of our friendship on opposite sides of the world with a big ocean between us, but that has never changed the way we felt about each other. She knows she can call me any time of the day (and night) and I know I can do the same. I am thankful to have a friend who has been through all parts of life with me so far and who I know is always someone I can turn to.
Tomorrow, my sweet friend faces serious surgery to fight her (second) bout with brain cancer. I wrote about her initial diagnosis here and how her life was put on hold at 32, when most of her peers were making big life decisions (marriage, house, kids). I wasn’t kidding when I said in my post last week “however much you think you have a plan for how your life will pan out, you won’t be able to count on it. There are always going to be unexpected obstacles and events (at least for most of us) that will stir us of our chosen path, delay progress and/or force us to think our whole life plan over.”
The hell, I definitely wasn’t kidding. I’ve seen it too many times.
Things had been going great for her though. Quarterly check-ups had been negative for five years, she moved forward with her life, started working again, fell in love, got engaged, moved to a new city and was finally at a point where she had dared to breathe a little easier again. Then at the beginning of the year the news: the tumor is back.
You guys, I am so angry, and I feel
a little so helpless for being so far away, even though I wouldn’t be able to really do much for her if I was closer. But at least I would be able to hug her and be with her. I know she knows that I am here for her, but I am not physically there, and that sucks big time.
She’s the last person who deserves to go through so much pain and heartache, let alone go through it twice, and yet she’s handling it with so much grace. Much more grace than I think I’d be able to muster facing such a tough situation.
We talked about attitude a couple of weeks ago and how being positive and optimistic can change everything, how consciously changing your thinking patterns can influence the way you approach and perceive life. She and I, we have the same outlook on life. We always, always see the glass half full and I’m absolutely positively convinced that she will beat this.
There are so many more adventures waiting for her, for us!, and when we’re old and grey, I wanna sit in a rocking chair, drink tea and reminisce with her about the good ol’ times.
If you could spare any good thoughts and healing vibes today for my dearest, oldest friend, I’d be forever indebted to you. Meanwhile, don’t mind me going a little stir-crazy over here.