I don’t know where to begin, because I have so much to say.
You are an amazing person, and I don’t think I’ve told you how much I not only like you, but admire you. You have a strength and wit unmatched in my acquaintance. Even with all that’s going on in your life, you can still make me laugh. You still offer me support.
I’m sure you realize that it’s a testament to you how your family and friends are rallying around you. You strike me as someone who doesn’t like to ask for help, but there are so many who want to help. There are so many who love you.
Ever since I learned you were ill, I have been torn. I have wanted to spend more time with you, but I haven’t wanted to intrude. I don’t want to be a pest.
I can’t believe how long it’s been since our used bookstore romps and binges. Or since we went outlet shopping. Or even how long it’s been since we just went out for a movie or dinner together. I guess that’s one of the ways in which parenthood changes things. But now I find myself wishing we’d found more opportunities. More opportunities to at least hang out and do nothing.
I always like seeing you and your family. Your husband is one of the nicest people I know. (“One of the nicest?” you ask. Well, possibly the nicest. But I haven’t taken a full inventory and measured the niceness of everyone I know. I do know quite a few nice people. But I can’t think of a nicer person just now.) He is smart and funny and likable, just like you.
Your kids are cute and beautiful and impressively bright. I love how much H looks like you, and acts like you. And R is such a force of nature. Even when they are driving you crazy, they are still wonderful. I love to hear you talk about them. Because you are funny and clever, and yet your devotion to them shows.
You guys have been models for us in the parenting department. You’ve given such helpful advice when I’ve asked, though you’re not someone to foist unsolicited advice on others. (If you did, though, I expect it would be good advice.)
I love to talk with you about books and movies and music. You have such a wide range of tastes. You love great literature, but you still enjoy some cheesy sappiness.
I love that you don’t hold back when you don’t like something. You have a talent for cutting through the crap.
Another thing I admire about you is the way you have been happy with your life. While I know you have had hard times and that there are things that don’t go the way you’d like, you have not let those things dominate. I was always impressed to hear about how much you loved your jobs, for example. Not that I thought you had bad jobs, it’s just that so few people I know actually like their jobs. Most people I know are always trying to figure out what else they can do with their careers. Part of me thought that with your talents and intelligence, you could have some sort of higher profile career, or maybe something more directly creative. I could see you as a professor. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn you had Jane Austen-like writing talents.
I’ve wanted to tell you these things.
And then there’s something else. I know you sometimes read my blog. And I feel like the biggest dork in the world bringing this up. I have wanted to write about you, but I haven’t done so out of respect for your privacy. I write all sorts of silly stuff on my blog, as you have seen. I write about all sorts of random crap. Part of me feels like it’s tacky to write such light and silly stuff when people are going through such heavy and serious times. When you are going through such serious times. But I know that you like to be cheered. So I actually often think of you when I am getting silly. I hope you know that my pants have been for you. (Well, I will admit that I have learned to appreciate pants as much as squid. Which is another gift that you’ve given me. So the pants are for me, too. We can share the pants.)
And I have felt like an ass even worrying about what to write in my blog when you are going through some of the worst possible crap life can deal.
But there it is. I want to tell you these things, but I also want to share them. Because you have been in my thoughts so much that it feels like a lie to continue not to talk about you. And because I think you deserve to get some recognition. From me and whoever reads this, of how fabulous a person you are. I want to acknowledge how terrible this is, how grim things are in spite of how hard you’ve been fighting. I’d give you a medal if I could.
I’d say I can’t imagine what things must be like for you. But that’s not exactly true. I have been imagining. And my heart aches.
I’m scared for you. I’m angry that this is happening to you and your family. I want to do something to change things, but of course I can’t. And I’m sad, too, of course.
But I’m also happy that I get to have time with you. I’m so glad to know you.
So, there it is. I’ve said a bunch of stuff I’ve wanted to tell you, but haven’t managed to say in person. I have more things I could say, too. But I’ll stop here.
I hope that you won’t be offended that I’m writing this so publicly. If it bothers you, I will take it down. But in any case, you are required to forgive me. Because I selfishly can’t bear the thought of alienating you.