Breast Cancer and a Friend

Friday, March 26, 2010

Today will not be my usual posting of commentaries, random thoughts or me just blowing off steam. Today will be dedicated to a friend, a party pal, and vacation buddy who last night I found out was diagnosed with breast cancer. I do not want to get into the typically preaching of why we woman must take care of ourselves or the depressing views we can take when we receive news like this; I rather put out there all the positive memories I have made with this woman. I do this route for two reasons; one, I would rather the world know a smile is better than a frown and two, I want her to remain positive for the struggle ahead.

As I look back now on our numerous vacation trips to the Outer Banks I find myself reliving situations that I find most humorous. I recall it was our first vacation in the OBX when we stayed in the area of Avon. This part of the Outer Banks has very little of anything, you have one-way in by car and one way in by ferry. There is one grocery store, a hardware store, maybe six restaurants and hundreds of homes. One evening we decided to try our hand at a restaurant that was suppose to be the best of the six.

As we arrived and were seated the waitress showed up to take our drink orders. We all proceeded to give the usual orders, coke, tea, water, etc., except my friend; she would have a beer. Little did we know that in such an aspiring five star restaurant that a beer would be so difficult? The waitress returned and placed our drink orders in front of us; then without missing a beat took our dinner order, collected the menus and left. This was the first of many times we would see her.

As we began to drink and start the dinner conversation we all noticed my friend had a weird look on her face. “What's the matter?” “Skunky beer!”  We flagged the poor waitress, who upon arriving, politely apologized and went off to retrieve another brew. She returned, deposited the bottle and left to continue with her other duties. This time we heard, “Another skunky beer!” The arm went up again, the waitress showed up but this time the thought was to change brands of beer. It did not work. The new dinner ritual of arm up, waitress come, new beer brought went on until the main course was complete. For the life of me I cannot remember if my friend ever got more than a swallow of beer for that entire outing. I do remember for the rest of the trip, every time we passed the converted house to restaurant, we affectionately called it the house of skunky beer. We also have never stayed in Avon again.

On the last vacation I took to the OBX with my friends we stayed on the northern islands up by the wild horses. A more populated area with many more options on food, fun and shopping. The weather cooperated for this vacation and being on the beach was actually an option, in fact we all came back with sun.

On this trip we all enjoyed walking the beach right after sunrise, searching for relics and just enjoying the warmth of the sun. I enjoy looking for sea glass and odd wood tidbits that seem to find their way ashore. My friend enjoys the unusual, she looks for things she can take home and re-purpose. About the third day into our trip she found a prize. The night before had brought a high tide and with it a treasure that we saw from way down the beach.

We had been walking and talking and generally not paying attention to how far we had walked when we saw the large object on the beach in front of us. My friend speeded up the pace and headed straight for it, it was some form of buoy that had broken lose. The thing was a heavy metal rod about 7 feet long with a two and half foot long float attached to the top. Her eyes lit up! “I’m taking this back,” she would say and she looked at the other friend with us and said, “you carry the top.” With that they lifted the buoy and we headed back to the house.

After about ten minutes of walking and many changes of positions and hands on the buoy we realized how far we had originally walked. I offered a turn with the toting of the float. Apparently floats weigh quite a bit and we walked much to far to be carrying this thing down the beach. Not to mention every beach access we passed folks would stop and ask us where she found her treasure, but we made it! We made it back to our rented home with float in hand and it did make it back home with her. I know because I brought it. It resides in her pond as a decoration. I’ve often wondered if this float was not part of the tidal monitoring system and the reason they feel the ocean is receding is because one of their buoys is in a pond in Kentucky.

On this same trip my friend purchased a boogie board and planned on learning how to use it. The first day of real sun and warmth she made her first attempt to tame the beast. As we all sat on the beach watching her time and time again get thrown to the sand we had to laugh. After numerous attempts, six pounds of sand in her shorts and no success she stopped for the day.

It took a day of recuperation and an evening of evaluating what she was doing wrong but she again went out to try to tame the boogie board beast. This time however, she enlisted me to give it a try. Thus the profile picture here on the blog. I now have the utmost respect for kids who can make this sport look easy because it is not. The very next photo of me in that series was I eating the sand! Trust me when I say wet sand is not soft and a boogie board does have the ability to think. I did not try that again and my friend never tamed the beast before our week was done but it was fun and we did laugh.

These are just a few of the fond memories I have accumulated with my friend and I hope  it helps bring a smile to her face. A smile can beat all sorts of evils and I know this evil will require a full-blown laugh.
I want her to know life is always trying to hand us skunky beer and we do not have to just settle for it, we just have to keep asking for better beer. That I want to conquer that boogie board beast with her, we can ride that thing and we will. That she is jewel in my tiara of friends, that I will be here, ready, able and willing to be want ever I can be to ensure support and laughter.

May the force be with you my friend.


murkitty said, 

We can not forget the hot sauce in her morning cereal. Which last time I asked she did not remember eating it that way.
I wish I could be as eloquent as this author.
My love and prayers also dear friend.

March 26, 2010 at 12:54 PM  
murkitty said, 
This comment has been removed by the author.
March 26, 2010 at 12:54 PM  
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