Sunday, March 8, 2009

THE ROOT OF FRIENDSHIP (From A Woman’s Perspective)

Where do friendships begin? And where do friendships end? Generally it is difficult to pinpoint the exact moment of a friendship’s start although we recall the planting of the seeds; however with a friendship’s end it seems there is a big bang. “A huge blow-up,” is often used as it’s descriptive phrase and we get the picture without the need for a thousand words.
Today this is on my mind because I have some pretty patient friends and what they tolerate from me makes the fact that some of them are medical patients currently undergoing serious severities seldom escapes my mind. Because of that I try to do what I can to lighten their load in little ways.
One of the first things we think about after hearing the words “cancer” and “chemotherapy” is “Will I lose my hair?” Frequently the answer is, “Yes.” My friends had seen me go through the loss of my hair a few years ago so they knew I would understand if they chose to speak openly with me about their feelings and we did have some conversations about those shared feelings. It may seem strange but it is amazing how attached to our hair we become! (And you thought it was the other way around, didn’t you?)
Do you remember when you were a bare-headed infant or were you one of the ones who came into the world fully-tressed? Either way your recall is probably only because of pictures, not actual memories, but even looking at those pictures won’t necessarily help prepare you for that day when chemo has its way and you look into the mirror to see, not yourself, but more than likely a person from an earlier generation looking back at you! So you cover your head with one of the scarves or close-fitting stretchy coverings and go about your days as best you can choosing to see this shiny head as another sign that the chemo is working.
So, in an effort to do one of those earlier mentioned “little things” I stopped by my friend’s house a few days ago around 9 a.m. with a couple of maple cake donuts, one for her, one for her husband, in the hopes she would be able to enjoy one of her favorite treats since it would be tasty, hopefully enough to help overcome the medicinal tastes with which she has to deal and soft in her mouth, therefore not hurting her mouth and throat sores…a little love.
When she answered the door, I immediately spotted the newly acquired closely-fitted soft head covering. As I passed her the donut bag and she started to look inside already knowing what was in there, I pointed towards her head and said, “Are you losing it?” She answered in the affirmative and invited me in but I was being careful to help her avoid germs I might be carrying that day so I declined and hurried home. It was after I got home that I realized what I had said to my friend. I was startled into laughter when I related the conversation to my husband realizing the double-meaning of what I had said!
Later in relaying this discovery to my friend, I said, “Do you realize what I asked you the other day? When I saw you were wearing a soft hat I asked you, ‘Are you losing it?’ You could have taken that either of two ways.” Maybe she was so overcome with the thought of a donut for breakfast she hadn’t even heard what I said, but I prefer to believe that because she is my friend she had listened with her heart and the root of our friendship goes far deeper than chemo can reach.

"…A friend loves at all times..." Proverbs 17:17a (NASB)
With loving thanks to my Inspiring,
Example-Setting Friends,
as you each gracefully deal with each difficult day.
© Marilyn Sue Moore 3-8-09