Have you noticed that sometimes, when we are talking to a friend or family member, they suddenly get defensive? In such situations, we often wonder what we might have said to offend them.
I received this email the other day from a friend who is five years past her cancer experience.
“I’ve been thinking of you as you move in to the next stage of your cancer journey. I remember having very mixed feelings at each stage – I was somewhat worried/scared as the treatments lessened.”
I have written three blog posts about cancer. The first was about the shock and adjustment in the first 10 weeks. The second was about making getting healthy the number one priority. The third was about the liberating feeling of going around bald. Now I feel ready to talk about the deeper effect of cancer.
“You will probably lose your hair in about two weeks,” the nurse casually remarked. I was furiously taking notes in the chemo class.
Like most of the women reading Sixty and Me, I have always been the matriarch and doer. Looking back at my old journals reminded me I always used to have a million balls in the air, projects with the community and with my family.
Over the last few years, I’ve led the greatest life. Writing, making films, traveling, blogging and gardening. My husband and I have traveled to Europe, Alaska, Yellowstone, and often to our Nicaraguan jungle reserve. I mothered an orphaned monkey for two years and released her.
“You are three strong women who are both nurturing and courageous and that has been such an inspiration for me.”
Recently, I was looking at old pictures with my friend Susan. We have been friends since college and I mentioned when looking at old photos that I looked better than I remembered. “Yes, me too,” said Susan. “I was pretty cute back then. Why didn’t I think so at the time?”
As I turn 65 this year, my mother has been gone for 17 years. Yet, I still feel her presence in my life in many ways. Also, as time passes, I come to have more appreciation for her and a better understanding of her ways.