By Arlene Radasky
March 11, 2012
She bubbles with enthusiasm and love of life,
Her smile is infectious and laughs come often.
She radiates warmth and invites in friends,
While inside she carries her fears tucked tight.
Her family begins to circle around her
Her husband understands that time is precious
Her son, daughter in law and two grandchildren
Know that she is their trembling rock.
So many years ago, the horrible diagnosis
Breast cancer were the words she heard
Cut and sewn back together to get it out
Radiation and chemo on board to kill it all.
All was well as life ensued
Then almost two decades later it’s back.
And now she is expected to understand why
While she fights again, for time.
Chemo on board again was working
Created a time with side effects and stress.
But also gave time to enjoy more of life
With all those she loves.
Now there is a need for harsher drugs
The side effects are disabling.
Nausea, aches and loss of hair
All distant memories of a time thought past.
We come to her, surround her with love.
We, her friends who have walked with her for years.
We supplement her family and dog
And love her just as much.
Two of us spoke up when we heard,
Two of us took her hand and said
If she loses her hair we would too,
Although all love her the same.
In a few days I will sit in a chair
Nothing like the one she sits in, attached to a drip line.
My hair will be shaved off in support
Hers will fall on her shoulders because of the drugs.
Three of us will learn to wrap scarves
Three of us will look for sequined caps
Three of us will laugh at bumps on our heads
But two of us volunteered.
This is not about me
Or what I will look like for a short time.
But my love for a friend is what I am explaining,
The reason for my very short hair.
How do you measure love?
You are not required to cut your hair.
You measure by not turning away, and being right there
When she needs to talk, a shoulder to lean on.
We all will be there, her family circle
And her circle of very close friends.
We will be there when we are needed
Because she would do the same for us.
That is the measure of love.