There were three friends, bound together in a friendship that was strong. One was thoughtful, methodical and task oriented. Another was free spirited, mind racing, always moving quickly. The third was somewhere in between, quick moving, often times over thinking "just the right" way of doing things. These distinct personalities fit together like a well designed puzzle.
Through the years they planned brunch showers for their children's weddings and expected babies. Together they planned every detail, garnish and flourish to make the gatherings "perfect". Before one event was finished, they conspired changes that would modify the next shower to make it even better. On occasion these brunches were also customized as fundraisers for their church.
Many laughs, satisfaction, camaraderie and friendship were shared and treasured. With their husbands, they shared dinners at each other's homes and at restaurants and weekend vacations. Weddings, births and successes were celebrated; deaths, illnesses and challenges supported. Most often the hugs of comfort were accompanied by delivered dishes of food.
As lives are bound through the years, you begin to sense when something is not right with one of the parts. One of the friends started a battle with cancer two years ago, was pronounced cancer free last Spring. A celebration. Then fall came. She and her husband were not available for dinners. No problem, no worry they said.
It didn't feel right. Though wanting to respect the privacy of a friend, it didn't feel right to not be there if support was needed. This friendship was treasured but it felt worth risking to confront her to learn what was going on in her life.
The cancer was back and raging. It had been for several weeks. Alone, she and her husband had endured the challenges of day to day life, of week to week diagnoses and treatment.
OK, the time was right. The two friends were let in, providing support and comfort the best they could during such a challenging time. The view of the future was shared, as painful as it was.
Our friend lost her courageous battle a month ago. It still hurts. As we go through the routine of our life, we are often reminded of her thoughtfulness-gifts, words and times shared.
My friend and I cling together for support and answers to this life altering event. She was angry that our friend didn't share earlier so that we could have had a longer time to support her.
Some time ago I had written down the quote from Dr. Seuss, one that is not as famous as some: "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
Though it doesn't take away the ache, it does make us reflect on all the treasured time we shared. Though we can no longer have shared times and laughter, she will always be a part of us with the legacy of friendship that was tightly sealed.