Mistaken

A few days ago I wrote about how upset I was that my two close friends from work hadn’t contacted me.

Yesterday, I went to lunch with a friend who used to work at my old work, but was also let go for really shitty reasons a couple of years ago.  She is friends with our friend as well.

Overall, it was a good lunch.  We talked a lot about my Mom.  Her grandmother, who raised her, died of cancer a few years ago.  Her father died about a month ago from a major heart attack.  She is younger than I am, but she has been through so much in her life, she had a lot to share about dealing with the grief, dealing with the disease, and so much more.

She is quite religious, so there was a lot of preachy type conversation going on, but the overall message, was clear.  Maybe I was let go for a reason, bigger than me.  Maybe it was fate giving me some time to spend with my Mom.  She was quite helpful.  She is also going to pass my resume on to the powers that be in her company, to see if they want me.

Towards the end of our lunch, we started talking about people who understand this monster cancer, and how people react when you are faced with a family crisis.  It was huge to me to have her talk to me about this.  Sometimes when people don’t get it, they just ignore it.  They don’t understand.  They don’t know how to be helpful.  If and when they are faced with a similar situation, you are there for them, and help them go through the process.

We got on to the subject of our mutual friend.  I told her how hurt I was that she hadn’t contacted me.  She told me that if I did nothing else that day but call our friend, I had to do it.  She wouldn’t go further into the conversation than that, so when I got home I called.

I apologized for not calling sooner.  I told her that I was hurt that she hadn’t reached out to me, that I thought our friendship was over.  She said she wanted to give me time to process and that she knew I would call when I was ready.

Then she went on to tell me what had been happening with her in the last few weeks.  The same week that I was let go, her husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 stomach cancer.  The cancer is on the inside, and the outside of his stomach.  They are unsure if it has spread to other parts of his body at this point.  They have started him on 24/7 chemo, with a big treatment at the oncologist each week.  He will go through this for 3 months, and then they will remove his stomach.  After the surgery, he will have 3 more months of chemo.

I just wish that cancer would leave my people alone.

It is too much.

This man is an amazing entrepreneur.  He has opened four very successful restaurants in our city.  He has sold two of them, but still owns and runs the other two.  How unfair is it that a man who made his living feeding people all over our city gets stomach cancer?  When they would vacation, which was often, they would go to popular restaurants wherever they were, and he would order 8-9 entrees, to try them.  I always said that I wanted to go on one of these trips with them, if anything just to see the expression on the waiter’s face when he was given such a huge order by one tall skinny man.

I feel like an asshole.

I sent her a card yesterday.

When we were talking I broke down in tears for being so consumed with myself, and not calling her to ask her about things.

I am better today, we are going to lunch sometime next week.  She is here for me with things with my Mom, just as I am here for her with things with her husband.

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4 Comments on “Mistaken”

  1. brandeewine says:

    I am so, so sorry for your friend. I guess that it’s true…everyone has their own story and their own problems. If we don’t reach out, we will never know. I applaud you for calling her. When I left my job of ten years, I felt hurt that friends that I’d had for years never reached out to me. I wasn’t brave enough to call them.

    My thoughts and prayers for you, your family, and your friend & her family. Cancer is monstrous.

  2. You have some amazing friends. I’m glad you spoke to both of them. You were able to lean on one and have one lean on you.

  3. Jen says:

    ((Hugs)). Thank you for reminding me that friendship trumps other concerns. Everyone has their stuff, right?

  4. libbylogic says:

    Don’t feel like an asshole. You didn’t know. If anyone is an asshole here, it’s cancer.


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