Gathering of the Tribe

I just recently learned that a dear friend of mine has breast cancer.  I should be used to this by now.  Good grief, how many of my friends have dealt with some sort of cancer!  Or one of their children has cancer.  Or some relative.  It just never stops.  And it never gets easier.  So I got the question from her.

“Mo, how do YOU do it?  How do you keep going and fight the fight you have fought for so many years now?”

My answer to that used to be, “I just do.  Just like you would do or have done.  Or anyone else does.  I’m not a super hero.  It’s instinct.  You do what ya gotta do.”

My answer for her was different tonight.  Perhaps because this latest battle of mine has knocked me down hard and I have had no choice but to find a way back up.

So I looked her straight in the eyes for a long minute and this was what came out of my mouth . . .

It’s time to open the door and gather Your Tribe.  It’s time to let go of your pride and let those who love you be the ones to carry you.  Find that person who listens.  The one who doesn’t judge but truly listens with an open heart and complete focus on you. Get the person who really “gets you” and hold him/her close.  The one who knows when it’s time to “smack you on the head” or the time that it’s best to just sit in silence and be. Rally the person who makes you laugh till your sides hurt.  She’ll be the one to help you laugh at yourself, no matter what the day brings.  Who is that person who can be strong for you and yell at the doctors and nurses or ask the tough questions or make sure you understand all the information coming at you?  Rope her in close!  Make sure you know who you can pray with.  She will be the one to help you find the words you can’t seem to find on any given day. Or the one who knows how to just sit and listen close in the silence.  Hone in on the chef and housekeeper in your life.  That’s the person who is going to help you keep order in your home when everything else seems so out of control.  Make sure you identify your “Go – To – Girl”.  She is going to lead the pack and make sure your tribe members know when they are needed and when you need a little bit of alone time. She will be the one to get that spreadsheet up and going with drivers and meal makers and lawn cutters and anything you ever imagined you needed.  The Tribe will be there.  You just need to make sure the door is open.

It was pretty late when I left her tonight.  On my way out, I turned and asked if she wanted me to close the door behind me.  “No thanks, Mo.  Leave it open!”

She’s going to be just fine!  🙂

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