The fight was one that we knew she wouldn't win, yet she fought valiantly. With dignity, humor and grace, she gave us instructions on how to die. Her faith in God was unshakeable and her constant resolve admirable. She died yesterday, my friend of 20 years, at home and cushioned by family.
I wasn't there to say "goodbye" and I will forever have regrets. The time spent with her was dependent upon my busyness and my procrastination and the simple truth is, I didn't give her the time she deserved --- in phone calls, visits or even short, simple text messages.
My mind so deperately wanted to believe that somehow, someway, she would be miraculously cured and if I stayed away during that (emotional, mental and physical ) time of absence, things would go back to "normal". That way, our conversations would be about comparing future plans, as opposed to discussing her treatments, medications, pain and death.
My perspective and actions (avoidance of the inevitable) was selfish and in so many ways cowardly. In a strange way, my friend's illness became about me and not her.
And so... now this...
If I can give you one piece of advice today, it is to love your friends well. Sacrifice. Serve. Give.
Have no regrets.