Last year I received a phone call from one of my best friends in the bay area. We have worked at two separate schools together and have had a friendship for over 15 years. The news she told me shook me to the core. Just before she was turning 50 she was told she had breast cancer and went through the process of having both breasts removed and then went through chemotherapy. I wasn’t able to get to the bay area until last March when we had dinner together. Her hair was just beginning to grow back in, and I was thrilled to know she was finished with her treatments.
I just spoke with her the other day to learn that her cancer is back and it has spread. I felt like a brick wall hit me. When I heard her voice I began to cry because honestly I am just so upset!! I am upset for many reasons, my friend is probably one of the nicest women you would ever hope to meet. If I ever needed anything, I know I could call on her. She has gone through so much in her life, but she is constantly up and always trying to help others.
This brought me to a big discussion in my head about life and when it is not fair. As a memoir teacher I hear many stories from my students about their life journey. Many times I have felt the pain inside as they share their own heartaches with me. Pain hits every one, whether it is abuse suffered as a child, a divorce, the death of a spouse or child, it hits every one. I have not met anyone who has had a perfect life.
I have been having to deal with the sadness of the news my friend told me about. She is a fighter so I know she will give it everything she has to fight it. I plan on supporting her energetically as much as I can.
So when life seems unfair I have to sit back, take a deep breath and know that the lessons life brings us are not always easy…