31 March 2008

Sometimes Tears are Okay

I'm not sure if everyone knows, but I update my reading list as I finish reading books. Not nearly as many books as I used to read, but I'm usually reading something.

This morning, I finished reading The Saving Graces by Patricia Gaffney. It really got to me. It was a story of four women who had been friends for over ten years. They each had their personal struggles, but one they pretty much shared was Isabel's battle with breast cancer. It talked about her reactions to chemo and radiation, and her eventual death.

Just a few years ago I lost my best friend to breast cancer. I wasn't there for her like Isabel's friends were, but I was absolutely never made to feel guilty about it. My friend, Suzanne, and her husband were so, so wonderful to me, even through their very tough times. She wasn't the first friend I'd lost, so my reaction to grief was a total shut-down.

When Sue had her first diagnosis, we still hung out. The chemo would knock her out for a few days, but then she'd be back in the game. She pulled through and was cancer-free for a spell.

After her diagnosis that the cancer had returned, we still hung out. When she was still out and about a little bit (but obviously getting weaker), we went out for lunch a few times, and talked on the phone somewhat regularly.

After treatment was stopped, I called her a few times, but as she got weaker and couldn't really talk much, I didn't go visit her. And they understood it just wasn't something I could bring myself to do. Her husband even said he'd understand if I didn't go to the funeral. But that, I made it through. I just couldn't watch her be miserable and know she wouldn't be with us much longer.

The book brought all that back so fresh. I'm jealous of those with long-time female friends. I feel like I have mostly acquaintances, but no one I really see on schedule, or talk to on a regular basis. There's a group of us that gets together once a month, or every couple months, but we don't really talk much in between. I'm jealous of the closeness of the women in the book.

Am I just imagining that other women have 'best friends' like this? How long have you had your best friend? If you're married (especially) is there still a friend besides your husband that you call when you're excited, or upset, or whatever - to tell things to that you have to tell or you'll burst? My husband is my new best friend, but sometimes I wonder if there's something else to be had in a best girl-friend.


gail said...

I totally get what you are saying here.

Anonymous said...

Husband, despite the best intentions, aren't wired to get "where we are coming from". When I complain about sore breasts, post-pregnancy hormones, cramps, feeling overwhelmed, etc-- Jason just doesn't get it. But, my girl friends always do. And, I love you (and them!) because of that. :)

Tammy said...

I had a very very close friend before marriage and 4 kids. My family is my life now and I do miss that one friend you have to talk to everyday. I do have friend's I talk to everyday, some have to talk to me (like you mom, what am I going to do all summer!). I have ton's of friends that are very special just different then that one friend.

siteseer said...

Husband. I too have never had one person that I go to first, but I've always had "someone" usually a co-worker who is there to listen and agree with me. I agree though, sometimes I feel like I'm missing something. Oh well, glad I've got the Maintenance Man lol.

siteseer said...

btw where's your March 28th Mommy & Me pic? just checking?

Anonymous said...

You know, it's sad.... I hate that friends come and go. I have a few friends I can call maybe once a year and be able to catch up like old times, or stop in and see whenever I'm home, but no one ever comes to visit me. There aren't many I can really call good friends, not that have lasted through the years non-stop. Moving, marriage, new jobs, etc... all of those things change people and relationships.

Heh, I remember my first experience losing a very good friend. Thankfully, she only moved away and we were still able to see each other from time to time. Of course, we grew older and eventually that changed as well. I'm really glad you found me again. ;)


This makes me want to go and call all of my friends now, just to make sure everyone's doing okay!

Daily Verses said...

I totally understand where you're coming from. I've often lamented over the past couple of years at not having a best girl friend. I just want to be somebody's "best." The one I call if I just need to talk, and vice versa. I do have several good friends who I can talk with openly, but that's it. The worst part of it is that since I've had #2, I'm terrible at nurturing friendships. I just don't have the time or energy to spend on the phone.

And still, I wouldn't trade it for the blessing I have in my husband and 2 beautiful kids.

Michelle Lynn said...

Husband. That's pretty much all I've got. Well, and family. I'd probably consider my sister or my mom my "best friend." All my other friends live in the computer.