Friday, May 28, 2010

Cycle of Life

Today was one of those "Food for Thought" days. I went to a baby shower for a dear young friend.
The shower was fun. Great people, great food, I won a bright red dahlia plant for being able to take my shoes off and on really fast with a balloon stuck under my shirt. Our name tags all bore funny baby-related names. I was "Fertile". My friend was "Poop" and the grandmother-to-be was "Nipples". Hilarious.
But while I was there I found out that a dear older friend, Carol,  had suffered a massive stroke and was in a nursing home. I was told that she was unable to communicate and probably wouldn't recognize me. I feared the worst. I stopped in on my way home from the shower and found a (somewhat) pleasant suprise. Carol was sitting up in a wheelchair. She couldn't speak, but her eyes talked for her. She recognized me and squeezed my hand. I told her about the jewelry I was making and promised to bring her a new bright red pin when I visited next week. She gave me a little upturn of her left lip.
Carol is a two time cancer survivor and sent me many cards of encouragement when I was going through chemo and radiation. She is a collector of antiques and loves the color red. And she's incredibly generous.
I told her how much her cards meant to me and talked about how my hair was growing back (it's about 3 inches now) , but didn't come back red and curly like I hoped - an ongoing joke since I was already pretty grey before I got cancer. Her eyes danced with the conversation and  she gave me the little lip tip again. I could see her frustration at not being able to communicate, but I could tell that she understood everything I was saying.
I don't know if Carol will make a full recovery, but I am certain she will recover as much as she possibly can and will show us her true grit. She's a tough cookie and a great model of determination.