Friends and Guardian Angels

As if a horn blew some warning call, so immediate were they that rallied around the one who was down… uplifting, soothing, encouraging, feeding, caring.  In all my life, I had never experienced anything like this.  Still to this day, when I think of the hours so well-tended by friends, my heart swells, my eyes fill, and I choke on humility.

My deep fear was that I would wear them out.  How long could they last, exactly what would I need?  No one knew.  I discovered it’s not a question friends ask.  They came with dinners, with books and with flowers, with lists of whom to call ~ for rides, for cleaning, for spending the night if needed.  They came with encouraging words, with prayer, with humor, and with hope.  They came with love.  I felt so undeserving, so overwhelmed, so incredibly grateful.  I was aware I was accumulating a great debt.  How in the world, I thought, how in the world… would I ever be able to thank them.

I tried keeping lists of who brought what, said what, did what.  With my mind clouded by chemo, the only clarity had been that there was absolutely no way I could keep up with all the thank yous I owed.  No way.  Tears of sadness at my own inability mixed with profound thankfulness for their deep capacity to care.  With regret I tenderly set aside the many unfinished lists, tucking them somewhere into the pages of these days.

Allowing myself to accept help was never my forte.  Admitting I was struggling was not really my thing.  Accepting this kind of friendship was like receiving a gift beyond measure, at once being something you can’t live without, and something of which you can’t possibly be worthy.

At the time, I felt completely disarmed.  Yet now I see I was armed to the nines.  For certainly I was in the trenches fighting the battle of my life, but somewhere behind me my ammunition kept coming.  Those behind me stayed steady, behind me stayed true.  I dared not turn to take my eyes off the prize. And I knew if I could reach victory, it would not be mine alone.  For each of us fought, all the way, to the end.  Each of us won, not just I.

* * * * *

Every prayer you say makes you part of the healing.  Every encouragement you speak makes you part of the hope. Every kindness you offer makes you part of the light.  Every moment you give makes you part of the fight.

And every time you held me in your thoughts, you lifted me.  Know that I felt it.  Know that I needed you.  Know that I thank you… with all of my heart.  You were both my strong guardians, and my very real angels.  Even more than that, you were my friends.

Cattails and Marsh Birds ©Lynnea Washburn

From the Living Victoriously collection of fine products from Boston International.

All portions of the blog are ©Lynnea Washburn.  All rights reserved.


4 Responses

  1. O.K….I just got to say it again…Lynnea you are a MORE than amazing writer….That was beyond beautiful, and written in such a way, it felt like reading poetry. Your words sooo touch me…and I always just feel like I don’t want your “message” to end…I sooo don’t want to put the book down !….
    I am already looking forward to your next post. ❤

  2. Thank you so much, Leslie. I appreciate your encouragement, it’s the fuel that keeps me going. : )

  3. Cannot say enough what your writing means – I am inspired by each entry and learn about your journey to wellness! Know that you are always in my prayers for continued health. Thanks for sharing some innermost thoughts and experiences.

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