November 24. I went to the cancer support group on Monday. I wasn’t in the mood to be there. I’d just been told the day before that a dear friend had passed away. I was heartbroken and grieving, and it had nothing to do with my cancer and everything to do with hers. She was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer a little over a year ago. 

But I’m glad I went because there was a takeaway…thankfulness. Everyone who was there had a chance to say what they were thankful for during this Thanksgiving holiday season.

For me, it was easy. Shirley. I was thankful that in 1993 our paths crossed, and we became friends. Shirley was one of those people who is easy to love. Funny. Smart. Cheerful. Caring. Generous. She had style and grace. She was a devoted wife and mother. She was silly and kind and nurturing. I’m so thankful to have known her and loved her, and even more thankful that she loved me in return.

Her passing away made my cancer seem smaller and less significant. For a few hours she occupied my every thought. Every tear held treasured memories of our shared times. I still have moments of grief, but I will always be thankful. 

When I count my blessings, I count you twice. —Irish proverb

7 Replies to “Takeaway”

  1. I think you may have missed your calling Lana. You are a really good writer. Being able to capture one’s feeling in prose is a gift, and you have it. It’s never too late. Get started on that novel.

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  2. I’m so sorry, Lana for you losing such a good friend. David is right, you do have a knack for expressing yourself, actually when describing Shirley, It would be the words I would use to describe you. Love you dearly

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  3. Lana, that’s a lovely turnaround, thank you for sharing! It’s tough to get to remembering the great things about a person (or pet) who’s passed, when you’re awash in grief for what you’ve lost.
    Love you,


  4. Sweet Lana, your reflections of Shirley are beautifully expressed. I feel for the loss of your friend. I imagine she knew how special she was to you.

    Thank you for sharing at this particular time.

    I know you have an appointment coming up soon. I am very thankful to have you as a friend, so full of love and compassion.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad you went to your support group. Shirley would have wanted you to go…:)
    Shirley was an incredible person. How lucky were we to have known her and called her friend! Love you Lana! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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