Cathy and Matt have a beautiful story. It’s one of those stories you can listen to over and over and over again and it never gets old. At 29 Cathy was diagnosed with cancer. Since she was so young the doctors thought it would be best if they treated it aggressively as possible so she could have a long and full life ahead of her. At this time Cathy and Matt were just dating, but they’d been dating for a while. I thought he was perfect for her, and so did she.
But she was diagnosed with cancer. If he were going to do it, this would be the time for him to run. But he didn’t. He stayed. And not only did he stay, he decided to let Cathy know that he was in it for the long-haul. So on a day she shaved her head so it wouldn’t be so traumatic when it fell out due to chemo treatments, he pulled out a ring and asked her to marry him. ::happy tears::
Wedding plans helped pass the days of chemo treatments and the sickness. And on the days when she didn’t have the energy to plan or even think about a wedding, he was there for her to lay her head on. In the next few months, they’ll be celebrating their first year of marriage. What did I tell you? It’s a great story.
But before that we’ve got something else to celebrate! Also during the time of treatments Cathy finished her Master’s Degree. For someone like me who doesn’t have an associates’ degree, a Master’s Degree is no small feat, but a Master’s Degree during cancer treatments…awesome. But wait. There’s more! It’s also her birthday AND ONE YEAR CANCER FREE!!! WOOOO-HOOOO!!! We’re totally gonna party like it’s 1999. And by that I mean play Bocce Ball, cards and probably a few board games. If we’re lucky, there might be some wine involved.
I love it that my friends like to celebrate. Seriously, we celebrate everything. The other night we celebrated my friend finally finding edible mushrooms. We cooked them, ate them and had a blast. We’re crazy. We like being with each other.
And we know how important it is not only to celebrate each other, but to celebrate and encourage each other in every victory, whether large or small. If we couldn’t celebrate with each other, we couldn’t share or hurts and fears. A true friend walks through the joy and the pain with you, and sometimes they even carry you. I’m so thankful to have those relationships in my life.
I stayed with Cathy and Matt a few weeks ago on my way home from a workshop. I didn’t have a schedule to keep, so they both went ahead and left for work the next morning and just told me to lock up when I left. When I finally got up to shower, I found a note from Cathy thanking me for visiting and telling me she loved me. When I went to get my keys to leave, I found a note from Matt under my keys welcoming me back any time. I walked around a little bit and found some paper and a pen and left them a note right by theirs and told them they made my life better. Good people make life better.
Encourage each other. Lift each other up. Celebrate the joys and walk through the trials. And when you’re with friends and you’re as comfortable at their house as you are at your own home, that’s the way it should feel.