I don’t know if
you remember, but a while ago I was talking about a friend of mine, Yvonne, and
our time spent together while she dealt with chemo and radiation
therapies. She was the one who hoped
that her hair would grow back in bouncy red curls. I spoke of how I’d lost touch with her and
hoped that she was doing well.
Tonight I found
Yvonne’s obituary while looking for another old friend. She was already gone by the time I wrote
that post. I sure wish I’d found her
sooner. I wish I’d made more of an
Of course this
got me thinking…It made me think about all the people I’ve lost touch with;
and all the reasons why. Some were from
real or imagined differences. Some I
drifted from via a lack of geographic convenience. Others, I felt like they might be
disappointed in my life in some way, so why bother.
I think a
combination of these may have been part of the cause for my distance from
Yvonne. You see, Yvonne and I knew each
other for several years before she was diagnosed. We taught together at Ashmead College of Massage. We shared an office at a fantastic studio where we enjoyed learning from
one another’s experiences, both professionally and in the more general aspects
of our lives.
She went on to
study Feldenkrais when I wanted to. I
always said that someday I’d take the workshops too. And then we could share in this, as
well. She was happy for me when I
changed my mind and decided that I wanted to go back to school for midwifery.
She wanted me to be her doula if she ever had a baby.
Years later, when
my business began to go under, I withdrew from a lot of my friends I’d made
through the massage community. It was
embarrassing for me to admit failure. I
thought I’d be able to reestablish contact after I’d gotten my feet on the
ground. (I’m still working on
Then I became
pregnant with Kajsa. How could I call my
friend who’d always wanted children, and was now sterile due to cancer, to tell
her that I was expecting a blessed surprise some time in the spring?
Time passed and
the thought of picking up the phone became more and more awkward. So I didn’t do it. I simply didn’t do it.
And I wish so
badly that I had. I am always going to
miss Yvonne. And it’s my own fault that
I never got to tell her so. I could have
tried harder. But I thought I had plenty
This makes me
so sad. But what saddens me further is
that I don’t know anyone who hasn’t had a personal experience with cancer or
some other long term illness. Whether
its family or friend, you know when you love them. And if you don’t tell them, you might not get
So please pick
up the phone, write a letter, a postcard, or an email. Find some way to honor your loved ones. Let them know how much you care and that they
matter in your life.