I remember how helpful people had been to me during my cancer diagnosis and treatments which began nearly five years ago. I remember receiving encouraging, out-of-the-blue cards and phone calls from friends, neighbors, or my husband's coworkers whom I'd never met before. I recall people bringing home-cooked meals to my doorstep and hearing the doorbell ring as I rested my head on pillows, feeling too nauseated at the time to even roll over in bed. I can still hear the footsteps of my kids - my cheerleaders - as they ran to the door and said "thank you" to the person standing there, and then ushered them into the kitchen and placed the dinner on the counter top. I remember the woman who offered to plant yellow daffodils along my front walkway. "They symbolize cancer and new life," she had told me as I watched her and my girls dig into the dirt and plant each bulb. I remember feeling too fatigued to kneel down and help her dig.
And I wait each spring in anticipation of seeing the first new shoots pop up through the soft dirt. And oh, how beautiful this picture of silence can be!
Yes, I remember all the kind words, both spoken and unspoken, provided to me many years ago. But as difficult as it sometimes is, I try not to focus on friends who might not have spoken much to me, or called me, during my trial. People who I would have expected to hear from, but didn't. People who, for whatever reason, didn't step up to the plate. Because focusing on those people, takes time away from my real focus: the people who blessed me in so many more ways than I can comprehend. Those are the people I'll choose to think about and remember well. I'll not dwell on the ones who were silent during the hard times. Life is too short to remember the "silence from our friends." It's just too short.
Instead, we all need to wait patiently for our own "daffodils" to bloom each season, because that is the type of silence we should try to remember.