Thursday, June 22, 2006

doing ok

a month ago, i received a text message from my friend anna, inviting me to a fundraising event for pilar, her good friend and someone i knew from my college days. she has colon cancer, stage III. she was our age, happily married and had three young children. i called anna to verify and ask how pilar was. she said pilar was "doing ok" after her surgery and several cycles of chemotherapy.
what is "doing ok"? the term is relative. it may mean that one has accepted the situation, is resigned to it. or it may mean that one is merely physically getting by. it may also mean that one is expectedly just a little bit depressed but not severely so to the brink of insanity.
the hair-raising story was that almost a year ago, they had another friend who was diagnosed to have malignant melanoma. it was pilar who was adamant at helping out their friend by organizing a fundraising event for her. she even said then, "she really needs our support and we'll never know it might happen to any of us." and yes, as if she had some premonition, it happened to her.
we were not close to pilar at all. we were not even sure whether she still remembers us or not. but my husband and i went to the fundraising event just the same. it turned out to be a party. there was a live band and the place was packed. it was a gathering of people we knew from way back when whom we have not seen for ages. it was fun catching up on each other. and there was pilar of course. she looked good. really good. radiant. strong. obviously overwhelmed with everything that night. there was an honoring of sorts. a lot of hugging and kissing. more than the money which was raised, it was the emotional, psychological, and spiritual upliftment which made this event worthwhile. being there meant offering a gift of hope and strength. being there allowed us to experience the hope and strength of pilar. the money became secondary, maybe even incidental. people were clearly having a good time. and so was pilar.
as we bid her goodbye that night, she was surprised to see us there. yes, she remembered us after a split-second of thinking back through twenty years. i whisper "we'll pray for you." and she says with all sincerity, "thanks so much. i really just lift it all up to Him."
i know it is possible. "doing ok" also means one is truly alright, uplifted emotionally despite the situation, by drawing strength from the support and love of people around. filled spiritually by the promise of salvation.


Blogger mama_aly said...

cancer's so in now adays every other person seems to be down with it. i guess, while we don't have it, the lesson to learn is compassion. you're doing a good job.

Thursday, 22 June, 2006  

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