One thing about the time change is that I miss things that happen in the evenings. Last night, well after I was in bed, one of Mom's co-workers (and very dear friend, and my almost birthday twin) stopped by to present Mom with some amazing gifts.
Apparently, someone in the office (I suspect the dear friend) made Flynne Buttons, which I gather are pins that have Mom's face on them that co-workers bring on adventures with them. Mom has "been" fly fishing, kayaking, hiking, out to fancy dinners and on stage being honored. They are going to Race for the Cure on June 5th. I'm trying to finagle one to come home with me, there are many places in NY that Mom loves and would like to go. She was also part of a team that won a Best of Bauer outfitter award, that her co-worker brought to my parents. (This was actual-it's an award from 2010-not just her button image.)
HOW CUTE IS MY MOM!?!?
She was not only mentioned in the team's acceptance speech, another co-worker made a poster with her picture on it for her walk-for-life event in Massachusetts. I was so blown away to see the emails from her coworkers this morning and was so rocked by the Flynne Button idea. Seriously, what a brilliant idea. You all know by now that I believe in the power of well wishing and that sending energy and strength is the greatest gift and the best medicine. What an honor to have Mom's image held by people who are participating in activities that bring them joy and make them feel alive.
One of the lessons that I've learned from my mom's illness is how to feel alive. How to thrill at the feeling of my heart pounding in my chest, how to savor each embrace with people I love, how to let go of bullshit that doesn't matter. This lesson is such a gift in my life. The thought of so many people getting even a taste of that gratitude and love of life by simply being reminded to live and enjoy brings me great joy.
And now, a word about girlfriends. Yesterday I was treated to a day of indulgence by some girlfriends as a bachelorette party. Yes, I realize that I'm technically an old married lady, but May was when we had originally planned for it, so we stuck to that. We went to a Korean day spa where we soaked naked in pools, ate decadent Korean food (clothed), sat in saunas of all different temperatures and mineral auras and then got scrubbed within an inch of our lives. All of this was lovely, but the best part was simply having all day to talk with these women. We are all in such different places in our lives, with different lessons to learn. We may be on similar life paths, or they just may be converging at this time in our lives. In either case, I learned so much just sitting and listening and, once again, felt overcome with gratitude and love for my life.
Today my mom is experiencing the same thing. She kicked my dad out of her room and sent him to the golf course with his brother and my brother. She spent to day surrounded by her girlfriends. Of course, the Seattle ladies and the visiting ladies are all getting along wonderfully and everyone is enjoying their own version of a bachelorette party, or a girl's weekend, or whatever you want to call it. These women have shared their lives: babies born, parents dying, bar and bat mitzvahs, graduations, college applications, crushing disappointments, staggering joys. Now they're sitting outside in the Seattle springtime sun, eating dinner, laughing together.
Tonight they may go home and cry. Mom's biopsy results came in showing that the skin rash is yet another metastasis. Or they may decide that crying isn't the right response. That spending this time together brings too much joy to cry. Too much of a reminder of the preciousness and fragility of all of us. Which is heartbreaking in such a glorious way.