Yesterday I spent the day in the cancer center at Hackensack Hospital with a friend who was undergoing her third chemo treatment for breast cancer. I’ve never seen such a crowded area in a hospital, but in spite of the lack of chairs for the all the patients and visitors, in spite of the long delays, in spite of what appeared to be an unacceptable level of confusion, everyone was treated with care and concern. I knew I was in the presence of people with a lot of courage. It was a lesson to me that good health is the greatest gift, and that we should all take notice of our good fortunes every day. It was a good example of the different kinds of bravery people find in themselves to go through such scary, trying times. My friend is certainly one of the bravest. She is an amazing example for me. In spite of the terrible reason to be with her yesterday, I enjoyed having a day with her to talk about our past lives before we met, to crochet together, to observe those around us. While my friend was attached to the IV she spent the time teaching me to make crocheted flowers and leaves. People watched her directing me and started conversations with her. The chemo center is certainly a place where people get to know each other easily.

This past weekend was very hectic for me, and now I’m quite grateful for yesterday’s ability to put things in perspective. Saturday I taught a class on kumihimo and met six interesting women who were my students. They came from quite varied backgrounds, from one woman who had never done any kind of handwork either with threads or pottery or metal work (but she was interested in kumihimo because she’d seen it being done in Japan during a recent visit), to another woman who came with a background in jewelry making and wanted to learn to make cords for some of her metal works. The others had varying backgrounds in weaving and knitting. They were very interesting women, and I hope our paths cross again. They have my contact information, but I don’t have a way of reconnecting with them!

After that class, I came home to a house full of people that I don’t know well, sailing friends of my husband’s. What a friendly bunch of people who were already enjoying each other and patiently waiting for my arrival to get some dinner on the table! My older son and his finance were part of this party of about two dozen people, and they spent the night. It was quite a treat to spend time with Rob and Lauren on Sunday, which included going to the movies….we saw “American Gangster.” Wow!

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