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01 Feb

 

Priceless gifts
Time with a friend

 
I have many precious memories of my childhood. Some with my beloved family and childhood friends.

 

 

In 2014  I  was contacted by a family member that my childhood friend Nikki had been diagnosed with cancer. I called Nikki and we decided to schedule a much-needed visit. During the course of our conversation, I discovered Nikki’s mother, Janice had been diagnosed with cancer as well. I was deeply saddened by the revelation that both of these wonderful women were fighting this devastating disease at the same time.

 
We planned a weekend that would be feasible for both of us and  I set out on the four-hour trip to my home town. When I walked into Nikki’s house, I visualized the same girl I grew up with. She had the same sparkle in her eyes, the same spirit I was familiar with sprang forth and greeted me. As we engaged in a welcoming embrace, I was transformed back in time, as if none had passed. The long thick blond hair was replaced by a cute fashionable hat that fit her small head perfectly. She was still as beautiful as I had always remembered. The warmth and love I felt, was so familiar.

 
After our visit, I drove away reflecting on our lives. All the wonderful memories rushed to the forefront of my mind. The many Christmas, Easter and Valentine celebrations at school. Returning to the class room after an Easter egg hunt or other celebration to find a surprise on our desk, our room mothers had prepared for us. Nikki’s mom Janice was one of our room mothers, she always had a way of making me feel special. I could always count on a welcome embrace, full of love and acceptance, from her.  I recall Going to the gym for magic shows, meeting on the playground with our friends, spending the night with one another, engaging in long late chats about growing up, getting married, hoping one of us would be lucky enough to marry David Cassidy or Bobby Sherman. Endless hours creating and playing with fortune puzzles or sitting in the grass on a beautiful day, looking for the coveted four leaf clover.
We spent many years and summers together through first grade, middle school, Jr. High, and puberty, parting during our challenging teen years. We forged into our adult years, juggling work and family, attempting to manage our lives to the best of our ability. We drifted into the winter of our lives, embracing our grandchildren with enormous love and admiration in our hearts.

 
I was perplexed by the fact that despite the tremendous assault on her body, the cure for cancer brought with it, I saw little change in her physical appearance. Nikki was still the same beautiful girl I grew up with. I questioned why I saw little difference in her. As I pondered this question, I recalled a truth my mother spoke to me as a child. She use to tell me the spirit is more overpowering than the flesh. This was certainly true in Nikki’s case. Nikki’s warm and accepting spirit over shadowed the few physical changes that had taken place since her illness.  This reminds me, the essence of who we are is from within. I will always remember my friends beautiful face, and her welcome embrace, full of love and acceptance.

 
In conclusion: Nikki has since passed away, and I often recall a conversation or a moment in time we shared. I miss her dearly. I am humbled by the profound knowledge of what is important in our lives, and that there is yet another lesson to be learned. I am also reminded of how precious a moment of time is, With a love one.
Nikki and her mom Janice

 

nikki


One Response to Priceless Gifts, “Time with a friend”

  1. Harriet

    February 9, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Beautifully said. I hope her family reads this. Nikki’s mom just passed away a couple of days ago. They were two sweet ladies.

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