Friday, October 05, 2012

Fools for Love

It is a story most women know all too well.

It started last week with a mammogram that led to a ultrasound and resulted in a biopsy and another mammogram--all in the span of 4 hours. The initial path report looked favorable. Surgery was scheduled.

This afternoon a sweet friend of mine had a mass removed from one of her breasts. The outcome continues to look positive, but the experience has been unsettling...not faith rattling, just nerve wracking. The situation was intensified by the fact that her next door neighbor (a Mama of five) succumbed to breast cancer less than two weeks ago. Emotions were high.

My precious friend loves the people in her life well. She is an encouraging cheerleader, big on celebration and loving with all she's got. So, a group of women in her life asked: What would SHE do if WE were the ones with the fear and the lump?

The answer was whimsical encouragement in the form of balloons...held by cheering friends...in broad daylight...on busy street corners along the route between her house and the hospital. The goal was to send her into the experience knowing she was prayed for, cared about and cheered on.

We prayed at her house, gave hugs and well wishes before scattering around town to our stations. As I stood alone on my corner waiting for her to arrive I cringed. Drawing attention to myself like this is not my forte. I wanted to hide, but thinking about my friend having something to giggle about instead of worry made me stay. Even as a middle aged woman there is something to be said for being a fool for love. 

A friend and I mulled whether we were a bit over-the-top. We acknowledged that we were, but wholeheartedly agreed if we are going to be lavish, we want it to be with encouragement. If we are going to push the limits of cultural norms, we want it to be friendship. If we are going to be extravagant, may it be in love.

Reflecting later, we all agreed that the sunshine, the solo time waiting and thinking about our friend--even the honks and the puzzled looks by those passing by us in their cars--were the best way to spend our morning. It's hard to worry and fret about worst case scenarios when you are holding bright balloons in the sunshine! The laughter and energy committed to lifting up someone we loved were just as encouraging to us as they were to our friend.

And while I used to think the older women who wear purple clothes and red hats had taken it a bit too far...I am starting to come around to their way of thinking. Life's too short to waste much time trying to look cool.

This journey can be hard. Let's love one another with all we've got!

13 comments:

mymcmlife.com said...

This gave me goosebumps! So sweet of yall to do that for your friend!

Cherry said...

If I was your friend, that would've meant the world to me! What joy I feel in thinking of what she felt EACH time she saw one of you with your balloons! Continue to BE ENCOURAGED as you have encouraged your friend and all the other people along the way(and me)!

Sitesx6 said...

This is FANTASTIC. LOVE SHOULD ALWAYS BE OVER THE TOP!!!!

This is a beautiful thing you did. I love the idea.

I LOVE showing people love in real ways.

Just Wed. night- my daughter and I snuck over to my friend's house (her husband left their garage door open for us- so we could sneak in) and we DECORATED THE HECK out of her car for her birthday. We had 14 trashbags of blown up balloons to cram into her mommy van- banners, signs, diet cokes, candy and LOVE. We made a huge poster board and put it on her window so it was the first thing she saw. She is a dear friend who GIVES CONSTANTLY to others- and I wanted her to know what a rock star she is.

I agree- let's love each other BIG.

Kelly :)

ChelseaSalomone said...

I teared up reading this, reflecting on the kindness of friends in Nicks and my own journey. This is fantastic!!!!!

Love Being A Nonny said...

Hubs says "if you're going to be a bear, be a Grizzly".....I love this!

Pam said...

How I wish in this terribly lonely season of my life I could see one familiar face cheering me on, with or without a balloon! Never ever feel like being an "all in" friend is over the top! What you did in leaving your comfort zone is life's breath for your friend. As I type through tears, I am so touched by the fleeting nature of friendships due to our transient culture. Cherish and pour into those God has cross your path while you have the chance. Regret has no place in the life of a vibrant friend or believer.

EAC said...

i love you BIG!

dee said...

My sister-in-law had her cancer surgery today, also. Her prognosis is good, and we are so very thankful. Your friend is truly blessed by your friendship and love!

Diane Tohline said...

This is the best. Very very inspiring. Any of us could do this and make a Hugh difference in someone's moment of trial. Thanks for being an inspiring example.

Jani said...

Your friend is very lucky to have you! What a wonderful example of friendship! Thinking of your friend and wishing her well...

Denice said...

What a beautiful idea!

Chris said...

I love this idea!! You girls are so sweet!! Life's too short to waste much time trying to look cool....love that!! Best wishes to your friend!!

Sammy said...

This is one of the kindest things I've read in a long time. What an incredible, original, thoughtful thing to do.