I had a beautiful piano teacher, from the age of seven. Sweet and kind and talented. A gentle soul, with a smile and helping hand for anyone. She found a lump in her breast when she was forty five. At forty nine, she passed away. The cancer returned second time around, in her spine. It didn't take long from that point. She left behind three young boys and a broken husband, who tragically died only a few weeks later from a brain tumour. Margaret's story has never left me, haunting is a strong word, but it kind of does, in a very distant way. Being so young when she passed, I was devastated, though for quite different reasons to the ones I feel when I think about her death now.
Today I received some upsetting news. My mother's group is a close knit circle of five these days. The five of us who gradually dwindled down from the original group of fifteen, have seen some tough times. Wonderful times. Memorable times. And one of these amazing women has cancer. She is my age and has two adorable girls. "Fuck!" was my initial reaction. And whilst she is being her usual positive, happy-go-lucky self and the prognosis is good, I am gutted for her. Gutted that she has to go through the next three months of pain and worry. As if life isn't ordinarily hard enough. Doesn't cancer know Mama's are off limits!? They don't need it's horrible presence threatening their family and friends. I guess it doesn't know babies and children, Dad's and the elderly are off limits either. It's just an indiscriminate monster and I wish I could grab it by the throat and strangle it. Because I can't, I am just going to be there, for my friend. If she needs me, if she doesn't, I'll just be there.