Maddie has soccer from 4-5:15 on Wednesdays and Fridays. Since it’s across town, there’s really no point for Luke and I to go home. We spent last week doing some errands, going to the store, playing at a park, and hanging out at a coffee shop where I got a latte and Luke got a hot chocolate.
But today, I called my friend Colleen to see if she and her daughter, Scarlett, were free to hang out. Colleen lives on the same side of town as Maddie’s soccer practice. Colleen, like I’ve said before, has been my friend since I was 19, and she is one of the kindest, most honest, most amazing people I know. And while we don’t remain in constant contact, for our lives have become quite busy over the years, it’s always reassuring to me to know that she’s just on the other side of town.
Visiting Colleen is like coming home to a big Thanksgiving dinner. Her presence is the same as being engulfed by family love and attention. And when I leave, I feel totally sated, just like after I eat a great Thanksgiving family dinner.
And while I’ve seen Colleen around town over the past few months, I haven’t really had the chance to just sit down and catch up. As I wrote about before, Colleen had, earlier in the year, been diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer. She underwent surgery and 6 weeks of radiation (she called in “radiance”), and as of right now, she is totally healthy and her eye is healing!
Good, good, great news! While I will never understand why a healthy, young mother could get handed a terrible disease, I can’t help but feel that if anyone was going to have to deal with cancer, Colleen is one of the few I know to rock it, teach that cancer a lesson, kick its ass, and come out victorious. And do it with an out pouring if love and grace. And teach all who know her a huge lesson in how to deal with terrible life occurrences. And come out even more “radiant” than ever before.
She shines like nothing has happened while at the same time possessing this deep, inner knowledge that she had to, was forced to, touch her own human frailty, unearth a cosmic connection with the universe, and then with humility and love in her heart, with the support of her family, her community, and the earth, catapult those cancer cells far away from her body.
I’m thankful for the glimpses of truth I see in Colleen’s eyes.
I’m so thankful to know such an incredible woman. I’m so thankful we had a chance to visit this afternoon. I’m so thankful that Luke played kindly with her adorable little girl, Scarlett (even though he did try to steal some of her toys as we were leaving!).