After her husband's cancer diagnosis, one writer reflects on the importance of her longtime friends.
I was driving along a narrow, two-lane country road when my husband took a call on his cell phone.
"We're on our way to Jack's. Yea, the last time."
The last time. Those three words caused instant tears to fill my eyes.
Terry and I were on our way to see Jack and Kathy, friends of ours for over 35 years. Jack was in his final stages of cancer; he had courageously battled the disease for six years. When I talked to Kathy earlier that morning, she said, "Come." I knew time was of eminence. 4 Facts About Breast Cancer That Will Surprise You
As we travelled the two hours from our home to theirs, memories of our friendship played out in my mind like little vignettes. There was Jack, a fellow college student, fixing the door to our apartment. Jack and Terry meeting in class and becoming fast friends. Going to Jack and Kathy's home for dinner and meeting their two little boys, Tim and Kelby. Two more would be added to their fold, Joel and Micah, before Jack graduated from the university with a ministerial degree. As the years passed, we would occasionally have a get-together.
Around ten years ago, when Jack retired from the ministry, he started to do carpentry work for my husband in his home building and remodeling business. Jack was a master craftsman. In our newest home, Jack fashioned an entertainment center after the one I saw in Larry David's home in his show Curb Your Enthusiasm. Flipping through channels one evening, I spotted the built-in center, recorded the program, and later showed it to Jack. From there he produced a sketch and then built a gorgeous center to house our TV and sound system, along with bookshelves to hold favored photographs and books. During this time of working for my husband, a mass was discovered on one of Jack's kidneys. His kidney was removed, but the cancer kept spreading despite repeated bouts of chemotherapy. 10 Signs He DEFINITELY Thinks You're 'Just Friends'
When my husband was diagnosed with a malignant adrenal mass a few months ago, Jack and Kathy were there with ready ears and plenty of prayers. Despite weakness in his legs and ongoing pain, Jack insisted on visiting Terry in the hospital a few days after his surgery. Three weeks later, while my husband was still in a great deal of discomfort, he insisted I drive him to see Jack, his dear friend, knowing it would be the last time those two would be together on this earth. I cannot begin to explain how precious those few hours were with Jack and Kathy.
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