First, I would like to apologize for my temper tantrum yesterday. Weeks of stress, combined with the relief of diagnoses had built up emotions I have been stuffing down. Never a good idea, sometimes I think I torture myself on purpose.
This is a story about friendships, specifically female friendships. I have a little bit more than a handful of close friends, but each relationship is unique in its own way, and I try to make sure they know they are loved and appreciated. Such was the case a few weeks ago, when Angel came out to my home, out in the country, in the snow to give me my Christmas present. They are glorious wind chimes, and I am driving my husband crazy because they are so magnificent that I can’t decide where to put them. It has to be the perfect spot, and if you’re a woman, you know smell what I’m stepping in.
I fretted over her climbing our treacherous steps (my father would be livid if he knew they weren’t fixed yet….. :)) as they were snow covered and slick. She is a presence, my Angel. She has this buoyant, joyful look at life and I have never seen her down and out. She’s a fighter, and a survivor. We sat in the living room to catch up for a few moments, and inherently I knew that she needed to talk.
“I’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease,” she didn’t mess around, came right out with the despicable words as if she were talking about buying a car. I couldn’t hold it together, I wept-knowing that this was not the way to react, as she was frightened and vulnerable. At her request I stopped the tears that flowed first down my cheeks, then my leg. I watched them flow in slow motion, the sun hitting them-turning them into tiny beings of light.
I think she will get a second opinion. As a nurse, I see not one symptom of the disease-and there hasn’t been enough testing, if any. She has been put through so much this past year, so many health challenges-all at once, with not a hairsbreadth between crises.
I was speaking with her today, and it felt so good to laugh and carry on. As we said our goodbyes, I sat and pondered awhile. There I could literally feel my heart expanding, with each and every beat a widening of sorts…..an expansion if you will.
We have turned the page from friendship to sisterhood. A true and loving bond, the way, alas, that it should be, should have been~