On Those We Have Lost And Those We Have Found
We toast absent friends,
raise a glass to remember,
celebrate the now
I spent the weekend with some amazing women. All young, all living with a diagnosis of secondary breast cancer, all of whom feel like friends even if this is the first time I’ve met many of them in real life rather than virtually. They are my support network, they know stuff, lots of stuff, they understand, they help, they listen, they sympathise and they cheer you up when you need it and swear loudly and creatively when you need that even more. We are all members of a Facebook support group for young women – the Younger Breast Cancer Network, if you are a woman under 45 in the UK with a diagnosis of breast cancer check them out. It can be a godsend for those with both primary and secondary cancer (us mets girls have our own wee group) – all private and a safe haven for discussion and support. Online is good but meeting face-to-face is an added bonus. Friendships are forged, hugs given, faces put to names, voices in real life are now attached to the voices you already know in type from your computer screen. You now read their posts in the appropriate accent! We are so lucky to have each other, the bonds are strong. But that also means that we feel each loss in the group very strongly too. We last met up in such a big group at the same hotel in October 2013. I look back at the photos from that time and am struck by how so many of our friends are now gone – and so quickly. Out of a group of about fifteen beautiful, happy women that grin out at me from the photos, seven are no longer here.
So when we meet, we raise a toast to ourselves and the wonderfulness of this little group and be thankful that we have each other. We also raise a toast to those that have left us – gone but never forgotten. In distilleries here in Scotland they talk of the Angel’s Share being the small amount of whisky that evaporates from casks during maturation. I like to think that some prosecco bubbles escape from our glasses too at each toast and eventually find their way to our own little angels, wherever they may be. Cheers my lovelies – we miss you.