Occasionally our lives are touch by very special people. Last week I attended the funeral of a friend from my life like that.
Nancy is someone that I became introduced to at church over 15 years ago. I think we crossed paths first at a church choir made up of several congregations. Over the years my contact with her has continued and she became a friend. Don't misunderstand, I was never one of her "buddies" but feel lucky for her friendship.
About six and half years ago, when I was having surgery for cancer and radiation treatments she shared of herself in the way only she could. Several years before my cancer diagnosis she had breast cancer. Even though it was a different cancer than mine, she share of her experiences that help me during my treatment. In Nancy was someone who understood without my having to express what I was going though. She understood how radiation treatments affect you and offered encouragement. Mostly I received a strength from her to face this head on.
When her cancer return about a year or so later, I continued to learn and feel her encouragement. As I was around I learned about dealing with the return of cancer with grace, courage, and humor. She always ask about others and truly cared, even in the end when she was in so much pain. You felt better seeing her smile. A smile that will be missed.
If my cancer were to return, how would I deal? Don't know, but maybe with that same hope, forthrightness, and humor.