I first met my friend Millie when I was 17 in typing class. Millie was 15. Our class was before the noon hour. As we left the classroom, we began to talk, joking and laughing together.
Millie would come to my home overnight and I invited Millie to church, but we really connected when I learned our birthdays were just a day apart.
These were good times we spent together. And when the hard times came, we helped each other to stay standing. Millie had lost her grandmother and I helped her through her loss. I shared my faith in Jesus and Millie eventually have her heart to Him. It was a good couple of years and then I went off to college .
I thought of Millie and wondered how she was. Life got busy and we lost touch.
We reconnected 4 years ago through Facebook. We chatted a bit back and forth.
I remember coming home one Friday afternoon from shopping with my aunt in December after Christmas. A message was in my inbox that my friend had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Millie had known before Christmas but had waited to tell me until after.
The news took me a back. My friend Millie was sick. I had wished we kept in better touch.
When I received this news I telephoned Millie, it was good to hear her voice. We talked and began where we had left off. We discussed her diagnosis and upcoming treatment of chemotherapy.
Six months after we reconnected by phone, we met over lunch for my husband’s birthday after church. I was taken back by seeing Millie without hair, but Millie was still the same Millie inside and she visited and giggled.
When her treatment of chemotherapy was finished, Millie drove 3 hours up to my home for the weekend. We went shopping and we were reminiscing over memories of my parents and memories of pushing a car that had ran out of gas and going to class later. It soothing to have a friend who remembered my parents. It was good to have a reason to visit my home town.
Over the summer Millie came up again and we celebrated the end of her treatments.
A few months later, Millie was given the go ahead to go back to work. I texted Millie her first day to encourage and pray with her first day back and we celebrated this triumph of being cancer free. But this was not to be for long as the cancer reappeared 3 months later. We cried together over this blow and we prayed. Millie got back up and once more we prayed together and kept in touch.
At the same time Millie was restarting her treatments, I was struggling with my legs. With the encouragement from my long-time friend, I was inspired to walk. As such, we walked together in the Relay for Life two years in a row.
Six months ago my friends cancer spread once more again.. This time, it went into my friend’s lungs and her lung collapsed.
Subsequently, Millie was diagnosed with stage 4 Breast cancer and she was disheartened. We now text most days to keep tabs on each other.
The doctors advice was it’s only a number and she was in palliative care for 8 months.
Millie went with his advice and her health is back to being managed .
The last little while I have gone down more to encourage my friend, as she needs me in person. Once a month, I drive to see her. We build each other up and we are glad we have each other in our lives once more.
Even though we are no longer school girls as we were all those years ago, we remind each other of who we always have been, and what age and disease can never steal from us.
My name is Margaret and I live in Kitchener, Ontario. I am married to my husband Maurice. I like to write and walk and bike. I love encouraging people through prayer and hands on by making meals and baking.
I love to dress up in funny hats and sunglasses.