Sunday, April 19, 2015

I'm waiting for Steve to finish his shower and get dressed so that we can make a trip I've been dreading for two days. I'm visiting one of my best friends in the hospital. I'd been concerned that I couldn't reach her; I've been trying for months. Then the phone rang Friday afternoon and her name showed up on caller id and my heart sang. I grabbed the phone and asked in a panic, "Are you still there?" I expected to hear that familiar, warm voice in response but instead, a voice I didn't recognize asked, "Is this Sande? Sande Elkins?" It was my friend's sister and she didn't have good news for me. My dear friend, the one whose name alone can make me smile, has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. My heart fell and felt as if it broke into a million tiny shards.

I don't know what I'll say to her when I see her today. I don't know how I'll react to seeing her in the hospital bed, in pain and distress. I'm trying not to think about any of that because when I do and when I think about losing her, it is almost unbearable. Instead, I'll remember that every moment I've spent with her, even the sad ones, were filled with joy for me just to be near her.

I'll write more tonight about my visit with her but also about all of the memories from the past and also how we became friends in the first place. I will always feel as if her friendship was a final gift from my much beloved mother. More later....

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