"Our life is frittered away by detail...simplify, simplify." - Henry David Thoreau

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Yesterday I Listened

Yesterday I sat on the dock at a friend's cottage and listened to the kids' hoots and hollers as they jumped off the raft and their laughter as they played and the splashes as they swam and I listened to my friend tell me that his nine year old daughter has cancer.

She and my second son went to
pre school together and then started kindergarten the best of friends which they remained until the day in Grade One when they realized that she was a girl and he was a boy and things were never quite the same. She used to come over to play and when the boys got particularly silly or rowdy she would come and sit at the counter and make muffins with me. They would walk home for lunch together and push each other on the swing while I made grilled cheeses. She is now taller than my son with a mane of strawberry blond hair. She had to have part of her jaw bone removed in May so she is very self conscious now about her face which to me hasn't changed a bit. She isn't in any pain but the stress is taking it's toll on her parents.

So I sat and I listened and didn't know what to say. I still don't but I will call and email them every once in a while and I hope they will take me up on my offer to use my Dad's place in Florida when they need to get away from doctors and hospitals. The hardest part is the unknown for them and for those around them. The doctor's can't tell them how this will turn out so we will all continue to wait and listen and hope for the right words.


  1. oh boy. I will also send your friend's daughter positive get well energy. This is the conversation one never want to have. We really do need to appreciate all that we have every single day.

  2. The most heartwrenching true life stories are ones like this. My heart absolutely breaks for your friends' child, them and you. I honestly wouldn't know what to say either--which is exactly what your friend needed, more than likely. He just needs you to be there for him.

    I'm so sorry.

    Hugs ~ Sandy

  3. Thank you both, funny how it feels better to talk about it even when it is not you who it is happening to directly.

  4. How very heartbreaking ... I'm so sorry. No other words than that. :(

  5. I'll definitely send good thoughts her way.

    It's definitely a parent's worst fear. I hope she is back to making muffins in no time.

  6. Oh how this breaks my heart. There are no words, except expletives, when it comes to cancer... I pray everything will turn out alright.

  7. I'm so sorry to hear this! It is such a shame when cancer strikes the young, but it is good that she is getting treatment. I'd guess that the best you could say would be very little - sometimes listening is the best gift.


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