Tuesday, December 13, 2005


I have a great friend who has brain metastases, breast cancer that has spread to her brain. She is having a good day today according to her own report this morning. She said that she can see clearly. I was struck during our talk that many supposedly healthy folks do not. Certainly I know I do not always and feel very fortunate that I have friends like her who help ground me, help me see clearly.

Without going into detail (most of you know that I am not a detail oriented person, right?) I can tell you that she has had various forms of the disease. Courage escapes me to write about it but, I can write about what I feel about it and about her.

I have an immense sadness but it’s not for her. Actually it’s not for me either although I have to confess it does stem from a selfish impulse. I’m sad for the world, for the countless folks who may never come to know her wisdom and her joy in living. Her joy permeates each of us that have gotten to know her. I want her to survive and flourish as she walks in joy.

Even those who haven’t met her personally have felt the force of her happy way of being. She is a member of a support network and told me of comments she received in an email from a woman who praised her positive outlook.

I can tell you that there have been times just the thought of this woman in my life has given me immense satisfaction. If someone like her chooses to know me, to befriend me than I must be something and someone worthwhile.

No, it is not at all about my gratification or self image here but it is about how life presents us with gifts of example, of courage, of character. It’s just hard for me to express the level of gratitude I feel appropriate for her presence in my life. Sheila holds me and tells me how lucky I am as I cry. This woman told me that tears are cleansing but too many of them cause headaches.

This friend is teaching me again what my friend Lenny taught me years ago. Friends can suffer, some of them die but love lives on. Each day is precious and should be seen that way. I’m reading Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” to see if I should recommend it to a client. My friend is an exemplar of the truth contained therein that we can choose our attitude in the face of any circumstance.

She chooses to remain herself, to continue as always, joyful in her being and in her faith in God. She chooses to celebrate her life, each and every moment. She is a warrior of light, a standard bearer of love.

Her presence on this planet is a tribute to her dedication to her faith in God’s love and she is a gift of God to all who circle in her orbit or who brush past her in their life’s journey.

I can’t think of a better tribute to my friend than to live fully and love wholly and without reservation. She does so each and every moment.

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