My Dear Fellow Readers,
Tonight I find myself a rich and fortunate woman. I am rich in female friends. I love that I have had the priviledge to call so many extraordinary women friends. Tonight, I celebrated the birthday of one my dearest friends, Deartra.
Deartra and I are both widows. Both of our husbands would die within the first two and a half years of our friendship. She and I were lucky to have been married to men who we loved passionately and who loved us in the same way.
A month after my marriage to the man of my dreams, my husband who was 48 years of age was suddenly diagnosed with late stage Hodgkins Lymphoma. My entire marriage of two and a half years was spent caring for my husband, a man who had once ensured that anything that I truly wanted would be provided. He had been a big man in all ways. His heart was full of fun, and friendship and adventure. Then he got sick and within 30 days he had lost as many pounds. His fear was palpable and mine was incapacitating. He would be dead at 50 and I would find myself a widow at age 53.
Almost every night during the time of my husband’s illness Deartra would come over and sit with me and my husband. It was a happy a trio, each of us caring for each other and pushing away for a moment my husband’s illness and her husband’s recent death. She was there when I could not drive my husband to or from the hospital. She was there when it was just she and I alone with our memories in the dark.
Tonight, as she arrived, I waited and watched for her to get our of her car. In my hands was a bag with one caffeine-free diet soda, a bottle of red wine and unsweetned cashew milk-just about everything she might want. That’s what you do for friends. You give them what makes them happy by showing that you care enough to rememeber their most peculiar habits and cater to them- just because.
It was a week after her real birthday-but it didn’t matter;we were joyful and grateful to be in each other’s presence. We scrapped dinner. I drank the diet decaffienated soda; she drank the red wine. She sat and listened while I read aloud to her a short story that I had submitted to Glamour Magazine 17 days ago. I cried with pride;she smiled with pride. It is a comfort to be with long time friends.
In Love and Light,
Brianna S. Clark
Your Fellow Journeyer