Recently people I love, and people they love, have had to negotiate some major, life changing, hurdles in their life; accidents, illnesses, various addictions, death. The road’s got some pretty huge bumps and they’re all navigating the twists and turns, tunneling through the rough rock or figuring out their way around it. I feel helpless and struggle to know what I can do. I pray, call, visit, donate through fundraisers and hope it helps. All of these people, for the most part, stay positive and keep leaning toward the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.
I had dinner with Sue and Jim tonight, texted her this morning asking if she was up for company. She’s being treated for cancer, had a severe reaction to the medication and is only home about a week and a half from an eight-day stay in the ICU. She was feeling good today and I made plans to go there after work. I’ve been wanting to see them but, believe it or not, hadn’t because I haven’t had time to cook. In my mind, I needed to feed them something created in my kitchen before I could visit. I had the bright idea that maybe, just maybe, the food wasn’t as important as friendship, support, some laughs. So, I went to the deli and bought cold cuts, lettuce and tomato, bread, chips, grapes and chocolate covered raisins. I wanted all the bases covered since I wasn’t sure what Sue might be craving. As it turned out Jim had made dinner; the three of us sat at their kitchen table eating and talking. I haven’t seen either of them very much this year so it was nice to spend time with them, catch up and reminisce. I met Super Sue, as we call her for very good reason, about ten years ago. She lived at the end of my street at the time and joined our neighborhood running gang. I’ve traveled to Boston, Chicago and Miami with her to run in marathons.
We talked about her illness, Jim’s back surgery, the kids (I don’t have any, borrowed Bill’s for that portion of our visit), vacations, struggles, accomplishments…in other words, we talked about life. We all agreed we’re trying to live one day at a time, we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, let’s enjoy today, right now. Sue, ever the optimist, is staring that light at the end of the tunnel down. I went to their house to see what I could do to help and probably got more from the visit than they did. As Sue said, dinner was good ‘soul food’ and I couldn’t agree more.