>> Sunday, September 18, 2016
It's hard to find something good in something so devastating like a cancer diagnosis. But as we travelled this road during the past 3 1/2 months, lots of little lessons started to show themselves to me and my family.
But one of the biggest things that I'm grateful for...every single day....is my friendships and the friendships I've had to let go. Let me explain......
The night that Nani had her emergency surgery to remove the pressure and tumor, my phone blew up. Text messages left and right. Messages on Facebook. Phone calls, voice mails. It was so hard to keep up with everyone....but I was moved to tears by the outpouring of support. My circle of friends was wide and strong.
But once her diagnosis came, I noticed something different was happening.
People I had been friends with stopped calling....stopped texting....stopped reaching out over Facebook. These were people I shared coffee with, shared laughs with, exchanged funnies over Facebook with. At first, I was hurt...and I was angry.
But then I stopped and realized....it's ok. People may not know what to say or do in a time like that. They may think their gesture is not enough. Or, they just may think, "Thank God it's not me" and go on with their happy lives. And that's ok. God puts people into our lives for a season....and maybe my season with these people was over. So I stopped being hurt and just decided to let things go.
Something amazing happened, though, when I did that. I started to recognize new friendships that were forming.....and even better.....reconnecting with friendships that had lapsed years before.
I had reconnected with friends from my MOPS years....friendships that kind of drifted a bit, but were rekindled. I connected with moms sharing the same journey as I am right at this moment. I reconnected with friends from back home, from college, from our military days.
The ebb & flow of friendship and supportive people in your life.Picture people holding hands to form a circle with me in the middle. The only thing protecting me and uplifting me was just the mere holding of hands. Something could easily break though just the hand holding. (Think the old Red Rover game you may have played as a child)
But what I eventually realized was that even though my circle was wide....just by holding hands around me, that circle was still weak and could be broken. Once I decided that the bigger circle wasn't always the better circle, I let some friendships go and my circle now became smaller and more intimate. My protectors and uplifters were able to move closer and closer...no longer linking hands, but linking elbows, now standing shoulder to shoulder. They formed a protective barrier around me that could not be broken.
They are the ones who text me from out of the blue asking how we are doing. They are the ones who make a trip to the hospital just to bring me a coffee at 5am....insisting the barista make that coffee when the Starbucks isn't even open yet.
And to the ones who drifted away....it's ok. I'm not angry, I'm not hurt, I'm not bitter, and I certainly will not stop being your friend. I just now recognize that our season, for the moment, is just over for this time. We may reconnect on another level, at another time.....and I look forward to the day that may happen.