Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Hope is the thing with feathers

Anyone who knows me, knows I have a thing for cards. Paper. Stationery. Books. Any kind of paper-related product, and I'm happy. I pride myself on having the right card for every occasion - whether it's goofy or serious.

This past weekend, my Mom and I drove out to Caroline, AB, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of my friend Alice and her husband Dayle. It was a lovely weekend and well worth the 7 hour drive. The thing is ... I probably wouldn't have gotten to know Alice if her sister Susan hadn't died.

Susan and I started the Master's program together. In the summer after the first year, she was diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately it was a kind that is basically not detectable until it's too late. It's hard when a friend is going through something like that and you're far away. I sent email, letters, cards. Susan had taken an Emily Dickinson class and hated it ... so I sent her a card with the poem about hope. It was partly a joke, but it partly wasn't ... because really, hope is the thing you hang on to when you're really ill, and apparently it was the right thing at the right time because Alice and Sue knew that poem backwards and forwards and read it to each other when things got tough.

Visiting the grave this time, I was really touched to see they'd put that poem on the gravestone. And the card I sent ... is framed in the living room with pictures of Susan around it. I didn't expect that. You never know when some small thing will be the thing that touches someone deeply and makes a difference. You really never know.

how true!

one of my friends lost a niece to cancer. she was only 19.

"hope is the thing with feathers"
was the perfect choice.
Thanks, Ken. It's always tragic when someone dies so young. My friend was 31.
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