A Post New Orleans Shocker

T
I had this picture saved in my Pinterest. It always made me smile and made me think of  T and I. We actually used to dress just like that when we were not in our school uniforms. She was the blonde, and I was the brunette. We were not necessarily alike, but we were like sisters.

I don’t have lots of friends. Despite the impression you may get of me from reading my blog, I’m not the most sociable person in the world. I would definitely classify myself as an introvert. Although I consider myself friendly, and I believe I can pretty much get along with anyone, I am very quiet in person. I worry that some people see me as stand offish. I’m not, actually.  I just will never be the type who has hundreds of Facebook friends or Instagram followers, and I am totally okay with that. I like who I am. I like it that the people I do become close with are people I sincerely love and value.

I have never spoken about T here before. T is my best friend since I was 3 years old, she lives far away in Connecticut where I grew up. T and I met in nursery school. It’s odd, but I still remember the day that I met her 37 years ago. I remember she was wearing a denim dress with a pocket. In the pocket was a little red handkerchief. She was dressed kind of like my favorite doll: Raggedy Ann. I can’t remember if it was her first day of school or mine, but I do remember that we bonded over crayons and a coloring book. We were friends from that moment on.

Life was never easy for T. Even while I knew her, she went through some really bad stuff I would not know about till many years later. She was fighting battles nobody knew about, yet she was always there for me.

We kept in touch through college, and then lost touch when I met the man I would later marry. Many years passed. After my divorce and my return to America I reconnected with T via Facebook. That was one of the best things to come out of my returning home. We picked up right we we left off. It was great. She could not be closer to me than one of my blood sisters.

In our years apart, T had suffered a lot: diabetes, cervical cancer, breast cancer, a double mastectomy, a hysterectomy (just to name a few). Despite this, she was a survivor. Recently she started with breast reconstruction. It was two years after surviving breast cancer. It seemed like things were moving forward. It wasn’t going smoothly, but it was going. I was (and am) so proud of her.

After coming home from New Orleans, she delivered the most shocking news: she has terminal cancer. What?!?! I can not get my head around it. My best friend is going to die. This is the only woman outside of family to ever tell me she loved me. I didn’t (and don’t) really know what to say. I can’t even accept that this is true. 

I think she is avoiding me. For the past week I’ve tried to call her a couple times, and I sent her a few texts, but she doesn’t seem to want to talk to me. I respect it, I mean, I know this has nothing to do with me. She is trying to process her fear and grief. She did tell me she was terribly scared. How can she not be?

I hope “terminal” can mean years and years, but according to her, the cancer is all over. She told me she is going to be strong. She says she wants to get old with her husband and is going to fight this thing. She doesn’t know about my blog, nobody does, so it’s safe for me to tell you that she was given a death sentence, and there is no way around this thing. None of us are meant to live forever, but some go earlier than others. I am so sad that her part in my life is coming to an end. I love her so much.

21 Comments

  1. My heart hurts for you, Caroline. I wish I could find better words to express my thoughts about the terrible situation you (and she) are facing. Some people really do seem to get the short end of the health stick, and it sucks.

    Feel odd sharing this and hope desperately that it doesn’t come across as a “me, too” story. Your situation brings me back to my own memory of a childhood best friend. She and I had lost touch but did later reconnect in person – for one full day. The next day she was killed in a car accident. I will always miss her, but am so grateful that we had the joy of being able to say good-bye knowing what we meant to each other. The sadness is tempered by a sense of closure instead of regret. Perhaps your reconnection via Facebook will also have blessings for you both beyond the restarting of the friendship as she faces what is happening.

    Completely unrelated (forgive the ill-timed segue), I now want to go to New Orleans and follow in your and Cat’s footsteps. Been loving the pictures and descriptions. The trip looked like a culinary dream! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow what a horrible (but also strangely beautiful) story! I’m so sorry. Like u, I feel so blessed that we reconnected. I guess I am greedy, I just don’t want to say goodbye. She is very dear to me.
      NOLA is absolutely worth it. I can’t tell you many times I’ve thought of going back. It’s an amazing city. ❤️

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      1. Sorry for the delay, real life intrudes 😉

        I found out because a male friend’s girlfriend worked at the hospital where she was taken. My friend asked me to sit down, handed me a beer (!), and told me he had bad news. I was sure it was a mistake and called her family who even in their shock answered the phone? I’ve always wondered why they answered as I don’t think I could have.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a gut wrenching shock. I bet your friend just needs time and space to digest the news herself; I’m sure its a comfort to her to know she has you to talk to if/when she’s ready. My heart hurts for her, a difficult life facing a difficult ending, and for those that love her too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so sorry Caroline. I have lived through this with my mother and a close friend and several other friends, this is not an easy path. My best advice is to educate yourself. Learn about her disease so you can be someone she can have serious discussions with. Offer to go with her to chemo nodded time and companionship. Right now she is processing but that will change and she will need you To be the friend who is here for her through the worst of it.

    Don’t say goodbye, say hello to the opportunity to be much more to her at this time in her life and you will never regret a moment of it should the worst come to pass – that much I can promise you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank u M, such good advice. She lives very far away but I want to be there for her in every way I can, and I want to see her as a blessing (because of everything we shared together) instead of a loss. Still I have never dealt with anything like this before, and it came as a huge shock to me. I can only imagine how she must feel.

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  4. I am so very sorry to hear this!! Not to go into my own story, but I lost my best friend in cancer a few years ago. So I can imagine some of what you must be feeling.
    Like the others say, just tell her you are there for her. If she doesnt answer, try again after a little while (dont wait too long). Try and see her as much as you can….
    I am so sorry for you and for her. Take care! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Good! She will probably appreciate your friendship and love even if she doesnt have the strength to respond always. My friend also avoided me a lot, when she got sicker. So I guess it is a “natural” reaction… 💜 Thanks.
        Take care.
        🌸

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is terrible. I’m so sorry to hear.

    Does she have kids? I’m not asking because I’m trying to make a sad story sadder; I’m wondering if you could play a Godmother sort of role to them so that you can help her and feel like you always have a part of her around.

    I hope you get quality time with her. Many years of friendship, many memories… this is a big hit for you. Continue to be there for her and it’s wonderful you’re not taking her coping personally. This must be overwhelming for her. Xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you ❤️ No kids because of her health story, she wasn’t able. It’s just her husband and her dog (she is so worried about her dog–I never understand that, but then again I’m not a huge animal person).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. There is nothing like the love and acceptance of another woman. They show us how to be, how to accept acceptance, female friendship is a tremendous, tremendous thing. I am sorry for you and I am sorry for T. When she is ready to let you back in I’ve no doubt you will be wonderful. X.

    Liked by 2 people

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