Last Summer I had the most overwhelming pleasure of hosting my dear friend's son for a month. They live in Yorkshire and are "horsey" folk, his intention was to work at our therapeutic riding facility while beefing up his university resume by doing so overseas. We had the best time firing off fireworks on the 4th of July, going to Hooters so that he could charm the servers with his British accent, sitting around and playing video games with all of the neighborhood boys, training horses and laughing. Mostly laughing. I think I lost two inches from my waist from all of the hooting and cackling that we did together. When he left, I cried. I didn't say goodbye to him, I just made him promise to come back.
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, his whole family is really great. Fun, free spirited and all around good folks, I adore them all. We keep in touch through Facebook. Like me, they are practical for the most part, and pragmatic always. They are not pink people at all. But I just found out that everyone in the family (except their father, who is stationed in the Middle East) went out on a special shopping trip to purchase pink watches, which they intend to wear in my honor until I am well again. I cried when I got their message and I know every moment my watch ticks with theirs. An immense comfort.
A week ago someone I barely knew wrote me the most wonderful, supportive, heartfelt notes. It was one of those letters that take awhile to answer, mostly because they render you speechless. The spirit of that amazing person reaches out to embrace you and you are supported at your weakest. The note would have been enough, honestly, to install her in my heart forever, but today she surprised me with the gift of a very fashionable portable file (to carry my records back and forth.) It was stuffed with M&M's and gum and a pink pen on a lanyard. She also gave me her favorite basket and in it was her favorite book, nestled in her favorite scarf, surrounded by her favorite chocolates. All to keep next to my recliner during those weeks that I recover...I had no words to thank her. I think I just cried.
My wonderful Mother-In-Law has offered to let us stay with them for two weeks after the surgery. She will do the cooking and will care for and love on my kids, maybe get them through their finals. She even offered to hire a nurse so that my husband can get some sleep. I haven't answered her email yet. I sit down, but then can't find the words to properly thank her. I give up, I just can't face that generosity without losing it.
ALL of the support I have experienced has been astounding and overwhelming. My heart has to expand to allow it all in. I am filled with love and fear in equal amounts. They don't war with each other. They coexist side by side, both taking up more and more space. They are like tissue expanders for my soul. They are remodeling me.
This is the gift of Cancer.