We are all going to die.. that much we should know, don’t you think? Why do we live like we have forever then? That trip you’ve been wanting to take, that recipe you are going to make and that person you are going to look up.. when you get time?
A close girlfriend of mine had unexpected brain surgery last month.. a huge tumor was mostly removed and it was cancerous. I had promised to come see her when I talked to her in the spring .. my intentions were to drive out and visit for the day. Good intentions…
So here I am driving out to see her after finding out about her surgery. Why didn’t I make good on my promise made earlier in the summer? What the heck was so important.. friends are more important than whatever it is you are doing, right?
Not having a lot of close friends I need to be a lot more thoughtful. I love her like a sister, we roomed together along with her grandma in her aunties house, basement suite, while we went to hairdressing school. The stories I could tell and the memories we made.. (I think I did write about grandmas bed breaking out of the frame while she was away one week-end). We used to encourage Grandma to travel ..a lot.
I found my friend not only with hair intact (they don’t shave your hair off anymore) but busy poring over last weeks Canadian Tire flyer (this was Thursday when every bonafied Canadian knows that flyer comes out).
She was even more excited when she spied the flyers I brought with me..(I had the coveted new Thursdays flyer) I scooped them up from the foyer in my condo complex on my way out. (better than a dozen roses for my excited girlfriend)
Our lunch was Tim Hortons donuts, a last minute detour on my journey to her farm in the country. I confess we virtually demolished over half the box. I knew her weaknesses with junk food and had often teased her way back then, with being a human garbage disposal. (she is a skinny ball of dynamite .. slow to ignite though)
To prove my point, I once made her lunch and included some dog treats in it. She should have been suspicious when I made her lunch.. ah sweet memories, as she proceeded to chow done on a dog treat! We didn’t have cell phones then or I could post a picture. I stopped her halfway through, I could barely contain myself that she was actually eating it. We still laugh about that!
We double dated.. her with her childhood sweetheart (they broke grandmas bed) and me with a boy she knew from her small hometown. The boy became my husband and now my ex. We have many stories.. more so because her grandma lived with us, her aunt and uncle upstairs along with two cousins. All these people were intertwined in my life as well.
So many memories and people have passed through our lives since then. She brought out actual pictures and we discussed what was to happen with all our pictures? She doesn’t have a cloud nor does she have a computer and she wouldn’t even have a cell phone if her son hadn’t bought her one!
Now this news is astonishing to me, and even more so that she had no desires in that direction at all! She is a dirt digger.. she LOVES to grow plants “from seeds”.. she is quick to point out, no bedding plants for her.. uh uh ..she wants to see that seed give birth! and she is a farm girl!
She loves her grandchildren, her family, Canadian Tire and Peavey Mart all in that order. Her greenhouse .. which is an actual small house in front of her house, should be in there somewhere, but I’m not sure where.
Although not much of a cook .. she can spot a dust bunny a mile away. Getting up at 3:00 am to hunt down and make that sucker disappear.. this is not unusual behavior for her. What I didn’t know about her, is her organizational skills .. holy cow, how did I not know that?
She has more Tupperware than the grand Kublai of tuperware. Tracking down pieces she has spotted in catalogues, that she cannot live with-out, is a mission to her, although not her supplier (causing a few head-aches there I’ll guess). Now that I think of it she was always taking her lunch in plastic containers… while we attended the Marvel school of cosmetology.
And what is this?.. She has assembled “a team” (two gals ) I was to find out as the day progressed. They are in charge of keeping her life in order and with the added responsibilities of tracking and destroying any dust bunnies, that threaten her imposed relaxation regime.
My girlfriend, an avid outdoor person, now needs to be accompanied as she walks outside and requires some help with her care. She will be preparing for a round of 30 radiation treatments. This girl has not even slowed down once in the whole time I have been there.
She has organized a couple trips to the dump. Went over the schedules for her team.. recounted everything for me …leading up to and after her surgery.
Leaning into me she says “I have to tell you about the all night long shopping trip I did at Canadian Tire.. the night before my operation and all the sale items I bought.” “I was so tired the next morning..” (although vivid to her, it was all a dream… loll) Rest assured all 70% sale items were in her cart upon her dismissal from that hospital!
She asked me if there was anything that I felt I have left undone in my life, or is there anything I wanted do. I confessed to recurring dreams of finishing school (which are kinda nightmarish, truth be told). I then asked her the same.. she had nothing for me.. nothing!
She is living her life her way.. as it should be..no regrets and nothing left undone… how many of us can say that, I wonder?
But.. she did say her kids and her family needed her and “I need to live.. for them.” I confess at that moment I envied her .. I am not sure why, maybe because I know my kids don’t really need me. Her childhood sweetheart (whom she married) needs her too. Yes .. I am envious, life is about the living, and people you love.. she is surrounded by these people.
To be surrounded by love is something you cannot buy.. not even at Canadian Tire.
A little side-note : My friend battled thyroid cancer years ago and now she has another skirmish on her hands. She has all her ducks in a row and has assembled her team and will add to it as she needs.. she is spunky and she is full of sass .. I just know she is going to kick cancers ass!!