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.