Thursday, 14 June 2012

Enjoying Friends

When I awoke this morning, I was still very tired.  My shoulder, arm and hand muscles were all stiff and sore from working on the hedge yesterday.  I decided I was going to take it easy today so that I could go to my church choir party tonight.  This decision to rest today was based on my body telling me it was tired.

I did do a load of laundry and enjoyed hanging it outside.  It was a sunny day but with a very comfortable, moderate temperature.  By late morning, my energy levels were rebounding and I was motivated to finish trimming my hedge.  It is finally done and it didn't take very long because there wasn't much left to trim.  After having some lunch, I still had excess energy so I decided to start trimming my shrubs at the front of the house.  I did pace myself and trimmed my two forsythia bushes.  I still have my two weigela shrubs, bridal wreath spirea and ivory halo dogwood shrub to prune.  My weigela didn't bloom this year and so I think I will be looking into fertilizing it as well.  But I digress.  As I was pruning my second forsythia, a neighbour arrived home and I haven't talked to her in a very long time.

Her husband died in the Fall of pancreatic cancer and I only found out about it this Spring.  I waved at her and she hollered "hello" across the street.  I still can't project my voice that far so I crossed the street to chat with her.  We started to visit and she invited me to join her in her back yard in the shade to continue our visit.  I was so proud of myself that I just left my gloves and shears laying my yard and I didn't worry about it.  As we sat on her deck, I took my hat off as I was getting hot but sitting in the shade, I could cool my head off and not get sunburned.  This was casually done without me really thinking about it all while we continued to visit.  She was sharing with me her experience with her husband's symptoms and eventual diagnosis.  I was so intent on listening that I didn't think about not having much hair.  Once my hat came off, she stumbled in her narrative and then she stopped talking and just stared at me.  I then realized that I had no hat on and I obviously didn't have much hair.  She asked me "Is there a reason that you cut your hair so short?"  For some reason, I thought she knew about my diagnosis.  Obviously she didn't.  So I said "Yes, my hair fell out when I had chemo this past Winter to treat my lymphoma."  I asked her to continue sharing her story with me.  I would share mine once she was finished because I really wanted to know about her struggle and adjustment.  She is alone and is a very warm, friendly person.

We shared tears and comforted each other in our short visit.  She only had 48 days with her husband after his diagnosis.  She shared with me that her daughter is engaged but is struggling with the fact that her father won't be walking her down the aisle.  I totally understand my friend's pain as well as her daughter's pain.  I lost my father to lung cancer just three months before I was married when I was 27 years old.  I shared with my friend my belief that her husband would be at the wedding in spirit.  I truly believe this.  My friend shared with me that she is now retired and we ended our visit with promises to have impromptu chats.  I'm invited to drop by when I see her truck in the driveway and she is invited to drop by when she sees my van in my driveway.  Although this was an emotionally draining visit, I was glad that I had been spontaneous and gone to her home.

After my visit, I returned to my forsythia bush and finished pruning it.  It was therapeutic as I processed the remnants of emotion from my visit with my neighbour friend.  Good thing because at that point my son returned home from school with our van and I was able to get him to deliver all the plant trimmings from the hedge and the shrubs to the city's composting site.  Although my body was weary, I wasn't as tired as when I had worked on the hedge yesterday.

In fact, I still had enough energy to make supper and then a dessert for the choir party which is a dessert potluck.  In the midst of this, my son needed to be delivered to the local baseball park so that he could umpire tonight.  Just as we left the house to go to the van, my husband returned from his week out of town on business.  What a nice surprise as I didn't expect him to arrive until much later!  So my husband was able to accompany me to the party.

Was it ever nice to arrive at the party and see my friends from the choir!  The evening passed very quickly and I must admit that after a couple of hours, I was getting weary.  My full day was catching up with me.  I'm so glad that I went to the party.  I enjoyed visiting with all my friends and I realized how much I miss singing in the choir.

It's been a tiring day but it's been a fulfilling day.  In sharing with my neighbour friend and listening to her, I was able to see how my struggles really helped me be empathetic and I hope a comfort to her.  It's been a great day.  I had planned to write about a documentary on anxiety that I watched today but I'll leave that for another post.

1 comment:

  1. She sounds like such a nice lady. What a terrible thing for her to have to go through. Cancer is such a devastating disease; it leaves so many shattered hearts behind. I'm glad you both spent such a lovely visit together. Sometimes sharing a little time with a good person is what we need to pick up our spirits.