Monday, January 9, 2012

In Honor of a Friend

A sign at the Knoxville Marathon support station hosted by my sister and myself.
I have a friend who did something very brave a few weeks ago.  This friend has spent a lifetime fighting some  pretty nasty inner demons.  This fight has taken her down some dark and lonely paths and come very close to getting the best of her on more than one occasion.  Her friends could only guess at the battle raging beneath the surface.  We could not fight the fight for her.  We could offer moral support, a laugh, a beer, potato chips, Motrin, and actual and metaphorical band-aids.  But she had to make the decision to keep going when that alone was a brave choice.  Incredibly, when traditional forms medication or meditation failed she researched and found new techniques and experimental programs to try.

And so, a few weeks ago, my friend left her job, her home, her pets, and her loved ones behind to attempt an experimental procedure that had a 50/50 shot of working.  Her friends sent messages and cards, made short trips to visit, but we couldn't battle the inevitable loneliness and boredom and we certainly couldn't do anything about those nasty inner demons.  Today she completes a six week experiment that she thinks may have changed her life.  She is optimistic and she is happy.  As someone who has watched her struggle for decades, I am so excited at the possibility that she has found success, but I am not surprised.  I have been one of her cheerleaders, but she has always been the one with the power (and the courage) to keep fighting.  I am in AWE of her determination and so excited for the future!

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