One particular evening, one of our online friends posed a hypothetical question to us asking our opinion.
“What would you say if someone was diagnosed with breast cancer, yet did not choose traditional medicine to treat it?”
Those tiny black words displayed on a white computer screen leaped out at me. (While these may not have been the exact words used, they were very similar.)
Something didn’t feel right about the question when it was asked. Immediately, we started consulting with each other in our group trying to decipher why this was asked. Later, we learned the question was because of what our friend was facing. We knew she believed in herbal treatments and using essential oils. The thought of this scared us when she announced her plans to treat breast cancer this way.
We all “met” online in that same lounge. While we talked about meeting in person through the years, we all had families and different responsibilities that prevented it. Until now. Sensing the urgency and knowing our friend needed us to rally around her, our beautiful friend, Betty, started putting the plan into action. She and her daughter were going to make the long trek from Oklahoma to Georgia to meet our friend, Debbie. Meanwhile, my daughter and I planned to travel from South Carolina to Georgia. Our other friend, Sylvia, and her son were driving from Alabama to Georgia. We found a weekend that would work for us all, booked the hotel rooms, and then surprised Debbie with our plans. This gave us all something to look forward to, and it brought some happiness into Debbie’s life.
Finally, the weekend of our trip arrived, and we shared pictures along the way of us in our cars with the biggest smiles on our faces. It was happening! We were finally meeting after ALL of these years!
Betty made it to Debbie’s house first, and I was second to arrive. I will forever treasure the memory of seeing Debbie step out of her house with the widest smile. I remember scrambling to get out of the car and running with my arms in the air straight to her squealing like a schoolgirl the entire way! My daughter took pictures of this exchange as we hugged each other tight! Then we stepped inside where I’m sure I did the same thing when I went to hug Betty! Sylvia arrived later, and the same hugs were exchanged then, too. The joy that flowed from us all was beyond measure. This was the moment we had ALL been waiting for!
It was really happening!!
I was there with some of my best friends in the entire world meeting them for the very first time!! It was incredibly sad it was under these circumstances, but we tried to push that out of our minds that weekend and just enough each other’s company. We laughed so much our sides hurt as we soaked up every minute we could with our sweet Debbie. It was truly a wonderful weekend spent together. We shared some precious memories! Memories I will treasure for all time.
This group of ladies left such an impression on me! With the many years we had remained friends since our “lounge” days, I knew they had hearts as big as the universe. Meeting them in person cemented this in my mind. I have forever been changed by the love this group of ladies has shown to me and the love I witnessed that weekend in how they cared for and loved on our friend, Debbie.