You may be familiar with the phrase, Ladies who lunch, and you may even be one of those ladies. I am not. Allow me to introduce you to a group that recently gathered that I am humbled to be part of. Badasses who brunch.
This group consists of women whose paths crossed at various points during our youth. The Catholic community in Louisville is large, yet tight knit, and some of the bonds formed in the various parochial grade schools and high schools have lasted long after graduation. Some of us attended the same school, while others attended a rival school. Some of us know each other better than we know ourselves, while others are acquaintances who share a common bond through mutual friends. It is an eclectic group, and it most certainly is a badass group.
What brought us together this time was to celebrate and support one of the biggest badasses of us all. Our beautiful friend is living with a diagnosis of terminal cancer. She has kicked cancer’s ass for so many years, and this time, it kicked back hard.
When she shared this news with another friend and me several weeks ago, we spent an hour talking and laughing on the phone together. Yes; you read that right. We were laughing about something that is not remotely funny, yet we managed to find the sick humor, pun intended, in it. That laughter is the best medicine right now, in addition to the chemotherapy, and she received a healthy dose of that medicine when our group gathered.
That sick sense of humor was on full display when we took a picture of everyone in the stupid cancer club. We had representation for breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and lymphoma. Then, there was a hysterical debate whether we should allow our friend who had a benign brain tumor in the picture. What about our friend who had a stroke? Could our friend who was hospitalized for over a week following an emergency hysterectomy get in on this picture? Then, someone made a case for all of us who have faced mental health challenges. Pretty soon, everyone was in the picture!
What makes our friend the biggest badass is not her diagnosis or prognosis. It is how she is choosing to face them and how she lives her life. She is focused on her family and friends, and she has chosen to live each day with the people she loves and doing the things she loves. She is doing so with the same irreverent sense of humor and fighting spirit, and she is not doing this alone. She is surrounded by the rest of the badasses and always will be.
We are a perfectly flawed group who has faced our respective challenges and who continue to face what life serves up with determination, love, humor, and hope. Trust and believe, there were tears shed during our recent gathering, and our friend’s heartfelt words reminded us that there is actually tremendous strength in being vulnerable. She is leading by example, and I intend to follow her lead. There are no words to articulate how very grateful I am to be her friend and fellow badass, but I hope she gets the gist.
That’s another story. . .
Categories: That's Another Story