To My Friend LuLu

Had a great time away from home for four days. Needed a mental break. I was mopey and dopey because my grandkids didn’t come up to the cabin this weekend, and I whined all the way home.

Then I had coffee with my bestie I shall call LuLu.

LuLu has just gone through eight rounds of chemo for cancer. She has been in the hospital twice for dehydration; she has lost weight and all her pretty dark hair. She’s had sores and she was anemic. She would cry for an hour over real things and no-things.

And yet when we got together she was happy, talkative, and optimistic.

 It’s natural to think that there, but for the grace of God, go I. If the shoe was on the other foot, your sad friend would be thinking that themselves, believe me.

Our friends, our parents and friends and brothers and sisters didn’t ask for their battles. They didn’t IV leukemia or chrones. They didn’t eat one sweet roll and get diabetes. You get my drift. They didn’t ask to have this life and death fight.

It just happened.

It will happen to all of us.

Our friendship has been growing year by year. What started as riding together turned into coffee and muffins and chats. She needed to get out of her house — she needed to talk. And when something big’s going on in your life, you want to talk. You need to talk. You need to understand that you didn’t do anything to get on this side of the fence, and that everyone around you is helping push you back to the other side.

I’ll never forget the day I found out I had breast cancer. I came back to work from the doctor and pulled my little section together and just told them. I couldn’t imagine hiding this from the people I worked side-by-side with. They were friends. Maybe we didn’t hang out after work, but they were friends that cared about each other. Including me.

I made my way through it. LuLu will make her way through it.

Sitting there tonight, gnashing while gossiping and whining together was the most magical experience I’ve had in a long time. We talked about everything. Our being grandkids addicts. We have no money. We hate cleaning house. We have husbands and kids and co-workers. We have fears and tears and dreams of going to our youngest grandkid’s wedding.

LuLu didn’t ask for this burden. But she’s not going through it alone. That’s what coffee and muffins are for.

Take your friends out for coffee and muffins. You never know what burdens they’re carrying. And even if they don’t have a burden to bear, it feels good to talk about husbands and kids and co-workers.

Especially over blueberry muffins.