So this morning I woke up feeling positive! I had heaps that I wanted to get done today, and given that most of it was baking, I knew I was going to have a wonderful day.
Really? What could be better than baking up a storm of yummy treats with my Princesses? (I mean other than watching them devour copious amounts of healthy vegies cunningly hidden where they can't see them! Bahahaha!)
So while Michael was feeding Nicola and the girls were eating their toast, I decided to jump on quickly and check my email.
I got an email from a very dear old friend, which made my day fantastic for about 30 seconds, until I opened it...
And then it all fell apart.
Her beautiful, precious three year old daughter has been diagnosed with cancer and she emailed me because she needed advice.
In her message, through her words, I could feel her confusion and her hurt. I knew the feelings, I've felt them. I can still clearly remember the feeling of cold numbness with the reality that my child has cancer... but that couldn't be possible... it really couldn't... because things like that don't happen to people like me. We have already dealt with so much and fought through so much and we deserved a break? Didn't we?
My friend is the same. She has already been through so much... she has done the unthinkable and come out the other side. She has had to find strength that didn't seem possible to find... yet she found it and she carried on. She has gotten up every morning and gone through every day... and made a life for her children. Surely after everything that she has been through she should be spared?
And this is what I struggle to understand.
Why is it that people who have already endured so much have to keep on enduring?
Why is it that women who don't want their children, and those who love them so preciously have them taken away?
Where is the line drawn?
What could I possibly tell my friend as she faces one of the most horrible journey's she could possibly ever endure?
What can I tell her to reassure her? To comfort her?
I know from experience that it sent me crazy when everyone apologised to me after Nicola was diagnosed. I didn't want sympathy, I didn't want people to feel sorry for me... I wanted someone to hug me and to tell me it would be ok.
I wanted my friends to hold my hand and walk beside me... even if it was just virtually. I wanted someone to tell me that one way or another, we were going to get through this. We may not keep our sanity intact, we would probably be scarred for life, but we would get through it.
Most of my 'friends' I really wanted to be there instead opted to avoid me. I know... at least two of them have since confessed it to me... because they didn't know what to say. They couldn't handle what had become my reality. Somehow I stopped being myself, and I became the mother of the dying child.
The fact that I was still the same person I was before was irrelevant. They saw a change in me that meant that they were not comfortable with our friendship... in one case, a friendship that had been forged over 15 years, so they walked away.
And I didn't want to do that to my friend, I couldn't.
Instead, I wanted to take away her hurt and her confusion, I wanted to tell her that everything would be alright, I wanted to hold her hand and reassure her that one way or another, she would come through this...
But words failed me.
Instead I promised her that no matter what, no matter when, I would always be there. And I will.
One breath at a time.
My friend's daughter is having more testing early this week to find out how far it has spread and exactly what kind of nasty they are going to be dealing with... so please, spare a moment to offer a prayer for them. I want them to get better news than we did. I am praying hard that it is something that will be easily treated and that her beautiful girl will lead a long and happy life and this will be a mere blip on their radar.
And for my beautiful friend... I know you will find the strength to get through this... you are strong, you are incredible, you are amazing. And we are sending you every ounce of love and hope that we possibly can.