Sometimes life shows its ugly face a little bit too often. These past weeks have been like that. And the fact that there’s nothing you can do about it makes it even harder.
I have a wide circle of friends, acquaintances and colleagues with whom I try to keep in close contact. Most of them I have known for more than a decade so we have shared relatively much of life together.
A few months ago I got some disturbing news. A dear friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer. Being who she is she dove straight into all the treatments she had to go through … and slowly had to admit it was far more difficult than she had ever imagined. She suffered some very bad complications and at the moment all contact goes via one friend as she is not able to spend much time on the phone or the computer. It’s not going well.
Two months ago one of my dearest colleagues told us her husband (age 55) was finally diagnosed with lung cancer. He had suffered much pain but it took a long time for the specialists to find out what the problem was. He died last week and we had his funeral last Monday. She is now left with a lot of grief and broken dreams.
Two weeks ago one of my dearest friends called me. They had found a small lump in her breast and she had to go to the hospital. These two weeks have been very scary. Luckily they outcome for her was better … she is clean now and other than some precautionary radiation therapy she will be all right.
All this brought home quite forcefully how fragile life is. We like to think we live forever and will die at a ripe old age. These last weeks have shown me that “a ripe old age” can mean “in your fifties”. I can’t imagine hearing the news that “we can do nothing for you anymore” at my age. I’m still far too busy living.
But so are my friends. And so was my colleague’s husband.