I am often asked about what to get or do for a friend after they receive a cancer diagnosis and often limit my thinking to the same practical and supportive suggestions that most survivors like me always offer. However, as I was thinking about this and what I might want to do for someone else after we get passed our lives that have been so restrictive for the last two years, I recalled something that a group of my friends had done for me after I was diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time and I would like to share with you.
“Wow! What a day! What an indescribable experience! What happiness I have in my life as a result of friends who bring so much to me.“Barbara Jacoby
Earlier in the week, my husband, Kirk had indicated that he had a surprise for me on Sunday but wouldn’t tell me what it was. Okay, that was fine with me. He told me that we had to be ready to leave by 8:45 a.m. and gave me an indication of what would be appropriate attire. I was ready on time and shortly thereafter, a limo pulled up for us. Wow, this was going to be a blast.
We went out the door and as I arrived at the car with Kirk closely behind, the driver opened the door to find 3 of my best friends with tons of food and drink already loaded in the car for us as we headed out for my first “girls’ day” ever as Kirk headed back to the house to do laundry. You see, the girls had the idea to do this excursion and in collusion with Kirk had set up the whole thing together. Oh, and I did have one more surprise as we headed out to pick up one other very special friend who lived at some distance away from the rest of us.
Now, while we had a blast heading into wine tasting country to do a bit of sampling and enjoy a lovely outdoor luncheon together, what we did was nothing in comparison to spending the time together with these wonderful women and the knowing that my friends wanted to do this for me and that they had engineered this entire adventure with my husband who also wanted me to have this special opportunity.
I can’t begin to tell you what it feels like when the people who are the closest to you want to create such a memorable experience. The positive energy that is generated by such a gesture of pure love and caring is something that you can only really feel and never be able to put into words. To be surrounded by such special people makes you feel like you own the world and that life just doesn’t get any better.
Three of these women did not know the fourth one before this day but everyone got along very well. And when we arrived to pick up my last friend at her parents’ home, her mom opened up her place to all of us and got out a bottle of champagne for us to have a toast together before we went on our way for the rest of the day.
But then again, my friend’s mom is just one of those ladies with all of the style and grace of one of the classiest women that you could ever meet. And despite all of the physical assaults that her body has taken including dealing with her own breast cancer, you would never know that anything was wrong because she always has a smile on her face and a kind word for everyone else. What a treasure she is! Now that I think about it, I guess the reason that I appreciate her so much is because she reminds me of the classy woman that my mother was.
At our last stop, my fourth friend made a call to another of her friends who lived in the area and she joined us, too. I had heard about this woman and when we met, I knew immediately that she too, was another very special person. Again, I couldn’t put any of this into words but I knew that I would never forget this meeting. We just hugged and it was like we had known each other forever. How happy I was that things had worked out the way they did for this meeting to happen.
Wow! What a day! What an indescribable experience! What happiness I have in my life as a result of friends who bring so much to me. And how awesome is my life to have a husband who not only would go to great lengths to give me a wonderful surprise like this but who would also be willing to help me by doing laundry while I was out having my day to remember. And while none of them could ever have afforded to get a limo as an individual, by pooling resources among the group for the car and everyone contributing to the collection of food and drink, it became affordable and changed the dynamics not only within the group forever but also made the upcoming treatment path completely different in a way that I could never have imagined. No wonder I will never forget this, even after all of these years!
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.