A couple of years ago I learned my friend had been taken to the hospital. "It may be an aneurysm," her husband said as we stood in the emergency room.
Quitely, I entered her room expecting the worse, but instead was relieved to see her sitting straight, propped up by pillows. Surprised, she asked, "What are you doing here?" I looked at her and replied, ""What are you doing here?" She'd been decorating the church, got sick and then experienced the "worst headache of her life." "I don't think it's serious," she whispered, "so please don't tell anyone about this." I frowned and she said "I mean it. It's nothing."
When I got home I didn't call anyone - not even the two closet friends "A" and I shared. These two women were like sisters to us. We broke bread and cried, prayed and played together. We had home-schooled our children, we attended the same church, our husbands were friends and our children had grown up with each other. And yet, I wanted to remain silent.
When word spread and both women called me wanting to know if I knew if "A" was in the hospital, reluctantly, I told them that I did know and had seen her at the emergency room. "Which hospital? What happened? "Did she really fall and hit her head on the steps at church?" They wanted to know. I closed my eyes and said, ""She told me not to say anything."
And as long as I live, I'll never forget the silent deep breath of disbelief and anger from the other end of that phone. It felt as though my mouth, ears and tongue were scalded raw when I heard my friend say, "I KNOW you are Not. Going. There. With. Me." My other friend began to raise her voice. "How dare you, Dina!" she said angrily. "You don't have that right."
I didn't know the difference between "not telling a soul and not telling a soul, I mean it." My friends were right. They deserved to know because it was more hurtful than useful to cradle that secret.
While at the doctor's office, this picture on the wall, titled, "Every Woman Should" intrigued me so much that I want to share it with you in this weekly series appropriately named: "Every Woman Should" .... Every Tuesday, I write about the next line in the poem/essay. Of course, I would love to hear about your experiences on the topice in either the comment section or on your blog. (Just grab the badge on the sidebar and please be sure to link back here so that we can come over to your place for a while).