I expect this will be one of my shortest posts, but with my history that could mean a long post compared to many other bloggers. I just finished reading a friend’s book. She sent it to me months ago, July last year in fact. I couldn’t pick it up to read it then because it was only a month since I had been diagnosed with cancer and she had warned me that part of the story was about her own experience with cancer.
We share a history she and I, not just with cancer but with a man we were involved with, she met him after he and I went our separate ways. In fact, he is the reason we met and became friends. Her story also included pieces of her life with him.
These two things together made it very difficult for me to read, even though the relationship I had with the man in common is now almost ten years ago. I wasn’t sure if I could handle reading her story on him or on her experience with cancer. In July I was just too new to my own cancer diagnosis, and after the bad experience in December, I still couldn’t read it because I was on shaky grounds physically and emotionally for a couple months afterwards.
I started reading her story a couple days ago and I gobbled it up. I couldn’t wait to continue reading it. There is a historical story as well about her great grandmother and the way she merged her story with her great grandmother’s story was wonderfully done so it gave me a respite from the other parts which at times scraped across old wounds that haven’t quite healed yet.
I am not sure how I feel about her story in regards to our common history. It gives me better perspective on what happened to her which is so very different from my own experiences. We talked one time of writing our separate stories, mine will most likely be fictional for the most part while containing elements from my real life entwined. She is gutsy in writing hers as she has, not changing anything except for maybe some names. I’m not sure I could do that. Oh but wait, I have for some things here in my blog.
I have made some headway in the book I have been writing. I took a break from it a few days so I could read her story. She had waited long enough. After reading her story I now want to jump back into mine and tackle some of the more challenging aspects that lap over into her story. Our shared history isn’t pretty. It is harsh. It is ugly. But we have both survived.
Not only is she a cancer survivor but she is a survive of the man we have in common who gave us both our daughters but was a nightmare for us both. Our friendship, our joint families, is the best thing that came out of our situations. I’m glad she has written her story for it gives me the courage to write mine as well.
It will take me a few days to absorb and really understand what emotions have surfaced from the reading of her story, right now, I feel a bit numb, a bit shocked, and sorry I was not able to help her more than I did. But what has happened is she is now experiencing a far better life and I am glad for she deserves it after all the hell she has been through.