A couple of days ago I had a call from an old school friend who I haven’t seen in a while, but always reconnect with instantly – we went through quite a lot at boarding school, forming a trio with another friend of “Only Children”. If you are not an Only Child it can be difficult to understand, in the same we we don’t get your relationship with your siblings! (I used to dream of having an older brother who would look after me..yes, I realise he probably wouldn’t have now, but in my dream he would introduce me to all his very handsome friends!…well, I used to day-dream a lot!! )
I thought this call was just a catch-up, and in a way it was. My wonderfully strong friend had called me personally to tell me she has only a couple of months left to live.
She has survived a bad session of breast cancer which went to her lymph nodes over a decade ago, has brought up 3 wonderful children, worked for breast-feeding charities, is a very strong member of her church, and now has been struck by primary pancreatic cancer which has spread to the liver. She sounded so strong and matter-of-fact on the phone. She brought me up to speed, and we reminised about our lives, school, children, husbands.
An hour or so later, shell-shocked, and trying not to cry on the phone for her, we thanked each other for being friends, and I said “ok, bye”….and we hung up! And I immediately realised what I had said!!!! I cried, I walked round the house ( I was alone as both men were in London as per), then called our third friend, who was out. I left a message for my husband on his mobile as he never answers it in the evening, grabbed my camera and took the dog down the farm track to watch the sunset.
Going through my mind was how casual my “Bye” had been to her. I will always be grateful to her for having the courage to call me herself, and then I just casually finished the call! Now, I know I can call her back and tell her all this, but would it help her? I will call her anyway, and we “chat” on Facebook and Twitter, but that moment has passed!
I wonder if I will have the chance to hug her again and say goodbye properly, but if I don’t I know she understands how important she is in my life.
SO, to those of you who don’t even say Goodbye when you hang up the phone ( something that REALLY gets my goat!), think on. It only takes a second.
And to my wonderful friend I will not say Goodbye yet, as I know we shall meet again either in this World, or the next. I love you.