Saturday, September 17, 2016

Local Saturday - A Crocus Grows in Brooklyn

Why am I talking about crocuses in September?  And no, they aren't fall blooming crocuses.

Yesterday, I promised you a tribute post about my childhood best friend, who passed away one year ago today.  I am going to do a throwback post to February of 2012, when I visited my friend after her first round of chemo, after she felt well enough to have visitors.

It would be the first of several visits during her long cancer journey. I looked through some of them, trying to find one to republish today.  It was hard.  But does it surprise you that I chose one about a flower?

I would say rest in peace, dear friend, but you never knew the meaning of "rest". Perhaps somewhere you are giving lectures about hermit crabs (you were an elementary school science teacher) or dressing down someone who wasn't raising their children right.

You wanted so much to visit Brooklyn Bridge Park with me one day.  Perhaps, one day, I will return to Brooklyn and visit it with my spouse.  It won't be the same without you.  Neither will Fairway.

And now, my post of February, 2012.

A Crocus Grows in Brooklyn

February 20, 2012.  Crocuses are blooming in Brooklyn (an  "outer borough" of New York City.)  in a front yard.

What a winter we have had.  Crocuses do not bloom in New York State (usually) in February.  But now that they are, some symbolism, please.

Crocuses are a symbol of spring, of plants coming to life from their winter's nap, of recovery, of life.

If I hadn't gone to Brooklyn this weekend to visit a friend undergoing treatment for cancer, I never would have seen the crocuses in her front yard.

So how did the visit go?  It was wonderful, every minute of it.

We laughed - a lot.  My friend talked - a lot.  We went to a local pizzeria and ate pizza.  Her husband took the four of us (my friend, my spouse, her spouse and I) to Fairway, a "gourmet" supermarket in a neighborhood called Red Hook.  Once a slum, Red Hook (or parts of it, anyway) is on its way up.  You can see the Statue of Liberty from the patio.

I took nearly 90 pictures of the trip.  And one of my friend.

My friend is undergoing chemo.  This is her second round with cancer (the first was 30 years ago with Ovarian cancer) and she has been very involved in cancer fundraisers. She has always been physically active, but wasn't sure she would be able to participate in the Revlon Run/Walk on May 5.  She loves the energy of these events and really wants to do it.  But her energy levels are unpredictible.

One year she met Haile Berry at one of these events and got her cap signed. 

She is realistic but optimistic.  She talked frankly about the side effects of her chemo.  The cold that nothing can warm up.  The terribly dry skin.  The sudden trips to the restroom.  The days where walking down the stairs from her bedroom to her living room tires her out so much she needs a nap.

We also talked about ...oh, so many things.

(Postscript.   You are gone one year today. I am still here. You once told me "The best part of waking up is waking up." I am thankful for each day, knowing that life is precious and too short.

And I will return to Brooklyn one day.  That's a promise.)


  1. I'm sorry for the loss of your courageous friend. As someone who's had cancer, I also know it takes courage to be there for your friend.

  2. So sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. What a nice tribute.

  3. Perhaps that's the story you needed to tell at the memorial.

  4. Ohh, that brought tears to my eyes. I lost my mum too early- cancer, and also a friend. It is too hard, and sometimes we have to let the sorrow fill us up.. and then we move on... Lovely tribute. You know you make them alive again with the magic of your words. .. She would have loved that. Sending lots of love from me...

    1. What a beautiful thought, and I hope my words do hold some magic in them.

  5. Such a nice tribute, both today and of the visit. How people we know impact us! It made me recall my sister, who is never far from my heart, and how coming down the stairs was enough to wear her out too. I miss her so much!
    Thank you for your sweet reminder of rebirth with the crocus.

  6. So sorry for your loss and such a sweet tribute to a friend. When we keep the memories alive, we keep them alive. Hugs

  7. This is such a beautiful tribute to your friend. She sounds like a brave, spunky soul. Sending you love.

    Modern Gypsy


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