“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing… not healing, not curing… that is a friend who cares.”
"If I were to say, ‘God, why me?’ about bad things, then I should have said, ‘God, why me?’ about the good things that happened in my life" Arthur Ashe
You might recall that I said we visited three people in one day at the local hospital last week. One person, L. I have been friends with for over a dozen years. Ours is not a ‘pick up the phone and chat’ relationship. We might not see one another for months even though we live in the same small town. Still, we have a connection. A solid friendship. We learned last week that L. has terminal cancer and a clot in her heart. Either one can take her at any time.
My dear friend, N, who is now cancer free is in the hospital for a stem cell transplant (they are using her own stem cells). It seems that Non Hodgkins lymphoma often recurs if the stem cell transplant is not performed.
Another friend’s husband has just been diagnosed with cancer. It is early and, hopefully, can be treated.
How does one be a friend in these situations? This is not my first time dealing with such afflictions. I believe it was my sister who noted how many people I know who have or had cancer. Some are living and some didn’t make it.
Himself doesn’t know what to say if he visits. I tell him to just be there. Just being there is often enough. Doing practical things for the patient or their family such as shopping or cooking, cleaning is appreciated. Still, your presence and your prayers are what they covet most.
The next couple of months promise to be difficult. However, as the first quote goes, I hope to be a friend who cares.
Not all my news is depressing. We finished the ESL (English as a Second Language) cycle at my church with a feast! The students’ final exam was to bring a dish from their home country and explain how they prepared it. The food was fantastic! Empanadas, stuffed cabbage, sweet rice, pasteles……..oh, forget the diet! I hadn’t had some of these dishes in years! The students were so proud and we are so proud of them. They worked hard and their English has improved beautifully. They appreciate every minute you put into their education.
Well, Bells is here today instead of Friday and she doesn’t like my spending too much time here. God bless you all. Stay safe. g