Friends, Jewels and Cancer

file0001686835906[1]I’ve been blessed with some wonderful friends over the years. My friends fall into different categories: work friends, childhood friends, single friends, like-minded friends, neighborhood friends and virtual friends.

I find it funny that most of my friends tend to be strong, bold, confident, opinionated, adventurous, take charge-kind-of-women. That’s not the way I’d describe myself.

They’ll hop on a plane, open up a business, host a Mardi Gras ball, run a department at work, conduct seminars…and they’ll do it all by lunch time. They’ll order confidently in restaurants while I waver between two or three items until I finally let the waiter pick for me.

I am a Libra. A peacemaker. I should have been born in Switzerland because I am neutral on so many things. But that’s because I see both sides of everything…which is a blessing and a curse. But I find life to be fascinating when viewed from the lens of polarity…the yin and the yang, the light and the dark…the good and well, the not so good. So when I pick a side, I don’t pick white, and I don’t pick black. I pick gray.

As a friend, I’m the gal who will tell you the truth, but in the nicest way possible. I’ll sting you with a dose of reality, with love, not venom, and it won’t even hurt as much as a wasp bite.

I’m a great companion on trips because I’m usually happy to go with the flow.  I can’t read maps or navigate well in airports, so my confident, adventurous friends come in handy as tour guides. I’ve been told I’m easy to travel with because I’m not all that particular about where I go, or what I do.  I have one generous friend who finds me so easy to travel with, she took me on a recent house hunting trip to Colorado.  (My lovely friend has five-star taste, so it was an excellent adventure.) Yep, I’m easy…like a string of pearls…I can go anywhere.

And as I get older, I value my friends like precious jewels. And like precious jewels, they’ve been “mined” by life, and have survived a lot.  Affairs. Husbands dying. Empty nest. Kids getting married. Kids having kids. Retirement.

I’ve walked along side them on their journeys. And in turn, many journeyed with me through my divorce after 20 years of marriage. And those who weren’t able to show up for me during this time, only made room for those new friends who appeared serendipitously, on cue, for this new stage in my life.

I’ve organized a dinner with a group of 10 of my long-time friends for tonight. We’re going to eat our weight in chips and salsa and drink Top Shelf Margaritas and toast our friend Cindy. My friend Cindy has cancer. Again. She kicked cancer’s butt five years ago and sent it home crying to its Moma. Not only did she not lose much sleep over it, she didn’t even lose her hair.

But it’s back again and she’s starting chemo again and doing that Steel Magnolia thing. Again.

And I’m trying not to cry when I write this, because what right do I have to cry? Especially when she isn’t. (Remember, I told you all of my friends are strong. Apparently, I am the yin to their yang.)

She’ll kick cancer’s butt down the road, again, and she’ll do it in high heels and with a big ole smile on her face. Because that’s the kind of friends I have. Strong. Gritty. Graceful.

Happy National Girlfriend’s Day.

If you’re interested in more thoughts on love, compassion and grace, particularly at midlife,  read my book Tao Flashes.  Or visit me at www.facebook.com/taoflashes or on twitter @taoflashes.

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10 thoughts on “Friends, Jewels and Cancer

  1. Lisa, I can’t express how much our friendship means to me. The universe has put us together right when we need each other. I know we have great adventures ahead of us. Have a Margaritas for your friend for me and give her a hug. I’m sending healing thoughts her way. Hugs, Connie

    • You are definitely one of my strong, bold, confident, opinionated, adventurous virtaul friends. I’m so glad we’ve connected. You’ve been a dear to me and I want you to know how much I appreciate you and your support. And yes, I will have a margarita for you!

  2. Lovely post, Lisa. I’m a Libra who can’t read maps, either! And I am so much like you describe yourself to be (but we’d better not find ourselves in an airport together, otherwise we’d be lost!) Your friends are lucky to have you, just like you’re lucky to have them. I wish your friend Cindy well. Damn cancer.

    • Sheryl, I remember you saying you were a Libra. That’s probably why I can relate to so many of your posts! Birds of a feather…lol. I’m just back from dinner with my wonderful friends, including Cindy. We all gifted her with beautiful inspirational books that we personalized…and that she can read when she’s having chemo. She looks great!

  3. I would be your friend if you lived near me.

    How wonderful to have such adventurous friends – and how lucky they are to have you to be their balance (that Libra thing).

    Best wishes to Cindy – I hope she recovers swiftly and easily.

    • Yes, we would be friends Sharon–without a doubt. Thanks for your good wishes for my friend Cindy. She did well with her first round of chemo….and she looked great the other night. Even drank a margarita. We each gave her an inspirational book to read while she’s having chemo….she was very touched.

  4. Lisa, this is so sweet and describes you perfectly. I am always grateful to you for your insight and ability to show me how to see things in a different way. Lovely post! Love you!!

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