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.