Something to be Thankful For

Red ink returns…

So if you’ve been following our blog, you know that the last few weeks have been pretty rough.   Unlike Barb, I retreated from writing mostly because I had no words, or should I say no “publishable” words. Big B and I touched base just before he had his talk with Lil B, and he shared that he honestly didn’t know what he was going to say because “he has no script for this.”  My sentiments, exactly.

Big B called to tell me “the news” early on a Saturday morning – too early Phoenix time – so I knew the news was not good. I missed his call and returned it after dropping off my son for a school activity when I was by myself. I pulled over and dialed him. As he shared the news, his heartbreak came through with every word and as my own heart was breaking for my friend, her family, and myself, I did my best to hold it together for him while I was on the phone. I hung up, and just sobbed…

The kaleidoscope of emotions that took over after that phone call ranged from stunned silent, to unimaginably sad, to impotent, to fiercely angry. I think more than anything I was angry and found myself asking the same questions of God that Lil B asked of me after she talked with her dad – Why? Why this one? Why my friend, Lil B’s mom, Big B’s best friend … didn’t we know people who conquered this disease?  Pink ink found it early and did everything right … It’s just not fair …

I wanted more than anything to run (just being outside in the air helps), and the next morning did just that thanks to my husband who didn’t quite know what to say (again, no script) but who has known this kind of hurt and knew that I needed to do something. So I ran and cried, and cried some more.

She wasn’t ready to talk yet, so I filled the void by shopping for things that I thought might be useful during the next round of chemo (like warm socks, and moisturizing, no scent soap), sending cards, and trying to keep my mind from going there.

We finally talked, and laughed and cried after a day or so.   Our talk about ordinary things was interspersed with the unimaginable.  It was/ it is surreal.   But we keep talking,  stealing moments when husbands are at work and children are at school, to go on sharing the highlights (and lowlights) of our days, with a new appreciation for the “specialness” of those moments.

Like the Rileys, the Richardsons spent Thanksgiving with family that we haven’t often (like not in many, many, years) spent this (or any other) holidays with, and there was excitement and some nerves on our end as we approached our respective big turkey feasts.   During our pre-holiday check-in, through all the hustle and bustle of getting ready, Barb and I realized that the family celebrations were something to be grateful for – for our children, our husbands, and for ourselves.   We both needed time out of our own nuclear family cocoons, to allow each of us to tap into that broader safety net of support that will be so necessary to sustain us and our children in the days ahead.    The chance to have a traditional Thanksgiving complete with family and football games seemed to hold the promise of very special memories that neither of us would take for granted this year.

My thinking over these weeks has miraculously evolved from mostly angry to more grateful, realizing that each day given is special, and is a chance to make great memories.  It still seems so unimaginable, but each day that we talk, and laugh, and share stories, and support  is truly something to be thankful for . . .  


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. JC Ellis
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 17:03:42



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