I am sitting in the waiting room at Bryan Medical Center, waiting for Diane to go through day twenty-three out of thirty-three of her radiation treatments. After this, we’ll grab some breakfast before Diane takes me to the airport for the trip home to Birmingham. I am so thankful to have been able to visit with her, though it always makes us both sad to part…especially hard this time because of what Diane is going through In her battle with breast cancer. My four-day mission to make her laugh and take her mind off of breast cancer- even if only for a little while- was successful. My heart is happy, and I think Diane’s is, too.
In addition to the laughter, we have gotten a lot of things accomplished; we finished choosing the program for our recital tour and got in some good practice, we put together promotional materials for the tour, we visited with Diane’s sweet mom, I convinced her to let me help with some yard work and chores that had been bothering her, we visited our favorite spots to eat, did a little bit of shopping, and took a ton of our trademark selfies to share with friends, hopefully making them smile. With each activity, we find the humor as we always do. I love that about our over thirty year friendship, and that trait in Diane is what is helping her to face the trials of the cancer diagnosis, surgery, and now radiation with dignity and grace. Her strength in the face of challenge never fails to inspire me as she looks for the good in every single day. Our thoughts are powerful, and keeping that positive mindset has healing power…and just makes life better.
We tried not to cry at the airport this time, but it didn’t work…at least we laughed through our tears. I so wish that we lived closer so that I could go with her every day of her radiation treatments and help her with the chores that she is just too fatigued to tackle right now. She has always been there for me, through my divorce, the ups and downs of teaching and performing, the illness and death of my mother and other family members and friends, and I have done my best to do the same for her. We give each other the gift of total honesty, unconditional love, and support, a rare thing to have in life- especially for over thirty years.
I am heading home to Dan and the animals, and a busy time of preparing for the fall semester to begin. Dan has been going through his own stressful time, and hopefully I can help to ease some of his load by taking over the care of the house and animals while he works long hours at the theater. Back to my life and love in Birmingham. Part of my heart will stay with Diane, though, as it always does. I believe in her, believe in her strength and courage, and I have no doubt she will beat this disease and be even stronger for it. No matter what, I will be here for her- we have so many adventures left. If you are in Florida in early October, look for the Amicitia Duo on tour at Florida State University, University of Florida, University of Central Florida, and University of Tampa (we’ll kick off the tour with a recital at UAB). We promise a fun and entertaining program….and I can guarantee that you will catch is laughing and sharing the gifts of friendship along the way. It’s what we do.