I have a good friend. A really good friend. On the spectrum of friends she falls into the immediate branch of the phone tree for calls with great news or awful news. I just got a new job? She gets a call. I just found out my beta didn’t double? She gets a call.
Phones are tricksters though and can sometimes make us forget that our dearest and closest friends are not always so close in terms of proximity. It’s pretty crummy to feel the pain in a friend’s voice and not be able to jump in the car and arrive at their house in minutes with brownies and season 3 of Golden Girls.
My friend, JJ, has cancer. I feel weird typing that because it is her cancer and really for her to talk about. She has written about it briefly (very briefly. too briefly for my over sharing needs.)
JJ is a friend to so many. Oh man if you only knew the number of people that she touches daily – it would blow your mind. She is a true steel magnolia in her fight. She pushes through her horrible (oh God they are awful) treatments and makes the stars of her heart, her super hunky husband and super adorable son, the focus of her day.
Watching (from afar) someone you adore have to fight every second of the day is brutal. How I wish that we could form a chain and take some of this sick from her. Wouldn’t we all be willing to do that for the people that we love?
There is no bucket brigade for cancer.
I live over four hundred miles away from JJ. Typing that makes me think of that song: I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more…and I would. I have written before about the tight group of girlfriends that I have, all found through serendipity and wifi.
This summer LJ, the Paul to all of our Ringos (in terms of leadership), created the spreadsheet to end all spreadsheets.
She put a call out asking all of our friends to essentially sponsor a week of JJ’s summer. An Lo ‘The Summer of Love’ was born. Bloggers and long time friends were paired up and every week something new was sent to JJ. I won’t go into more detail because it is a lovefest that belongs to many, many, many people.
Something special is happening this week. If you are reading this on thursday morning then JJ and I are together having coffee. Literally. Not virtually. Seriously. RIGHT THIS VERY MOMENT!!
We can’t always be there, in that physical, “come here and let me hold you tight through this bullshit” kind of way. Sometimes we have to count on modern technology or greeting cards to get our love to the ones we love. But right now? Right this very moment? I am sitting with her for reals.
JJ is a card kind of girl. Seriously. She loves getting cards in the mail so much that she started a club. Hallmark sent me a fantastic sample of cards to check out (spoiler alert – I am giving them all to JJ!) and I got crazy weepy over a lot of them. I’d like to think that I could design a greeting card, but landing on that perfect thing to say just when you need it is hard.
If I wasn’t currently drinking coffee with JJ right this minute (!!) I would have sent her this card:
Gotta love a card where you don’t really need to sign it beyond, “this. exactly.”
If you designed a card for your long distance friend what would it say?
Come back? Call me? It’s not the same?