People around the world are losing loved ones. Now more than ever, take time to tell them that you love them. Don’t wait. I currently have three close friends who have been diagnosed with breast cancer during the COVID-19 closures. How scary is that for them, their families, and friends like me. While on my walk this morning, I thought about how important people are in our lives and how empty it can be without our usual social encounters. I remembered when my husband wanted to talk with a close friend who had cancer. Here’s what I wrote about that five years ago when it happened:
Twice this year… It’s happened. We knew a friend was sick. One was 92 years old. The other was 57.
We wanted to tell them how much their friendship meant to us. But when they got sick, they didn’t want to see anyone. You have to respect that.
“I’ll call and talk to him on the phone,” my husband said about our 57-year-old friend. He never reached him by phone.
Yesterday, we heard from his family that he was in hospice. My husband said, “I’ll write him a letter. I’ll tell him how much his friendship meant.” He immediately sat down and wrote the letter. The last time we wrote a letter like this was to our 92-year-old friend. Family members told us it arrived in the mail the day she died. She never had the opportunity to read it.
My husband ran this letter over to the family’s house. Literally ran because the house is around the corner from us. The brother said thank you. The brother thought it would make him feel good to read it. But, he said, he’s not seeing anyone outside of family.
My husband and I went for a walk. We walked and talked about our friend. This life thing is so fragile. We take it for granted sometimes. When I was 21 years old, I walked across a street and got hit by a truck. It made me realize how uncertain life is. A car almost hit us when we crossed the street last night. I screamed out loud. I can’t help it. It’s residue from my encounter with the pick up truck.
Life goes on. You get married, raise kids, drive kids to swim practice, sit on PTA boards, help with homework and have your own work to do. Pretty soon you can forget how fragile life is.
We finished our walk and returned to our house. The letter my husband wrote to his friend was stuck in our gate, unopened. It could only mean one thing.
Make sure you tell the ones you love — I love you while you have the chance.