10 years ago, this morning, Lori Laham came by to pick up the kids for school. We lived in the same neighborhood and our kids attended the same school. For another 133 days, she pulled into our driveway and my kids got into her car. And she started again in September 2009.
We were all reeling from Art’s recent second diagnosis of cancer in less than two years.
Me, our friends and family, none of us sure what to do or say, asking over and over again "how can the cancer be back?"
When you look at what Lori did.
It wasn’t much really.
She left the house a few minutes earlier than she would have. It was easy for her, but it was such a gift for me.
Often times people want to do grand gestures to help their friend with cancer, but your friend with cancer doesn’t necessary need big gestures. It can make her/him feel uneasy like they have to pay you back and that can add to the already mounting list of people they think they definitely need to repay. No matter what you say about doing a big thing, it can seem like a burden to them.
10 years ago, as a cancer caregiver and eventual widow, the small gestures were often the most meaningful because it was the small things I needed the most help with. When Art was sick getting the kids up, dressed and fed, lunches made and remembering projects, permission slips and play dates almost made my head explode every morning. Looking back now, I remember that there were times, especially the weeks before he died that I had to get Art ready too, his body too weak to do manage it on its own.
Remembering this small gesture made me cry today. She was a mom dealing with her own shit and stresses and yet every day, she did something that was so profoundly simple, meaningful and helpful.
Helping your friend with cancer
is not about the big gestures.
It’s in the simple ones.
It’s in doing what you can and
knowing that what you do is enough.
Since Art died, Lori and I have remained friends. (This goofy photo is from a Sofar Sounds event we attended last Friday.) Lots has changed in our lives since she picked up my kids 10 years ago and I am still grateful for her.
Thank you, Lori for providing safe passage for my kids and for giving me the space to deal with the hell I was going through.
Your gift was priceless.