Tonight is Halloween, but instead of spending it with my youngest child, who is out trick-or-treating, I’m home. This is the first time in about 25 years that I haven’t taken a child trick-or-treating. My youngest is now 13 and going around with a friend and his dad, plus his friend’s sister and two of her friends. I didn’t feel like being the fifth wheel (and kind of felt uninvited anyway), so I’m home.
My husband is across the cul-de-sac, hanging out with our neighbors. That’s been the neighborhood gathering every Halloween night. But I don’t feel very social this year. I found out today that one of my dearest friends has colon cancer. She had emergency surgery today. Her husband just called to let me know the surgery went well, but that 10 inches of my friend’s colon was removed. Her life will be irrevocably altered from here on out, which is so devastating for a woman in only her forties with two middle-school-aged girls. Like many women but to an extreme degree, this is a woman who puts others ahead of herself. When I tell people of her generosity, they are amazed that someone like her exists. But she does and the day I don’t have her in my life will be a tragedy, not because of the things she’s given me that I’ll miss, but because with her will go one of the biggest hearts and kindest souls I’ve ever experienced. No, make that the biggest heart and kindest soul. I love her dearly.
Hurricane Sandy blew through the Northeast yesterday and with her came massive amounts of destruction along with a reminder that there are things in this world–hurricanes, and in the case of my friend, illnesses–that are out of our control. We cannot decide our own fate fully; never have been and never will be. We have to take the cards we’re dealt and be happy that we are even in the game.