Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness.” -Euripides
Last night, we had dinner with old friends we hadn’t seen in a while.
She: A beautiful, boisterous woman who speaks her mind, regardless of who is in the room. Amazing conversationalist. When she asks you a question, she actually listens to your answer with earnestness. Her laughter fills a room with light and hope.
He: Measures his words, his actions, and is cerebral. A teacher, in that he presents his facts in a manner anyone can understand. Intelligent, witty, and a phenomenal cook.
Together: They are fighting his cancer and they are winning. It is a spectacular sight to behold.
The collaboration between the two of them as they fight the enemy who has invaded his body is a graceful dance to witness. Their deep love for each other is palpable as it floats in the air with their back and forth banter. She is the perfect partner in this fight for his life. She will not back down from a fight, and thus, he will not either.
They, like us, love and appreciate delicious food, tasty cocktails, and luscious wine. We eat grilled artichokes with a lemon garlic aioli for an appetizer. Later, time for homemade pizza cooked in our outdoor oven. A ritual, if you will of constructing a pizza with reverence and ardent thought. And of course, plenty of love and laughter to complete the final layer of ingredients. Intense heat radiates from the oven as the toppings sizzle and the cheese melts. The pie rides the carousel stone around and around as it comes to completion. This is their first experience with our pizza oven and it elicits smiles all around. It doesn’t take long to bake an incredible masterpiece of charred, flavorful ooziness. A toast as we sit down to the table. To good food and good friends.
Looks of ecstasy as they take the first crispy bite. A discussion of the flour used in the dough and exactly what “00” means in flour terms. Our friend, ever the teacher, knows of course, and happily shares his knowledge. There is nothing more soul satisfying than seeing others appreciate your food.
Afterwards, our conversation is at times, nostalgic and tender. At others, raucous and bawdy. Laughter is abundant. Love is in the air.
We talk about the elephant in the room, and we learn what our dear friends are living through. We listen as they speak of the nitty-gritty facts of fighting cancer with chemical cocktails. It is ironic they use the word cocktails, because as she puts it, there is nothing fun and party-like about them.
We move to the living room, put on a Tom Petty album. I pull out our collection of stereoscope cards/viewers and we step back in time to the 1800’s. We have a 60″ television in the other room, yet here we sit viewing old stereoscope cards. Laughing and enjoying every precious moment.
They are our friends and we love them.
There is a profound beauty in this raw, unfiltered moment as it hits me; together they are fighting for his life. And together, they will win.
Of that, I have no doubt.
Linda Lee Lyberg