What a difference a week makes

This week is shaping up to be monumental.

Firstly, the encouraging news.  My father is doing well considering all things.  It’s still early days, but he is recovering from this specific episode and we are holding on to the hope that it is not followed up by another.  Thank you so much for messages of support, concern and wishes for his recovery.

I was already in a rather fragile frame of mind at the start of this week,when I opened a message from a friend, expecting that she was contracting me because she might be heading over here.  Sadly not.  She was contacting because she has just been diagnosed.  The initial delight in seeing a message from her was swept away with anger and sadness that breast cancer is continuing in its destructive path.

Nothing could have prepared me for the news later that day, of the shocking loss of friend and smart, spirited and feisty fellow blogger Rachel to metastatic breast cancer.   After an unsettled night, I opened my laptop window to the world on Tuesday morning to find that cancer has also stolen Susan, another articulate, highly intelligent and amazing woman.   I knew both Susan and Rachel were very ill, but how could this happen when their voices were so strong and full of vitality? The blogosphere is teeming with messages, tributes and outpourings to these women, I am privileged to have known but not known.  My thoughts and feelings are too messy to be able to express right here, right now but will follow at a later date.

So now I find myself in a strange frame of mind, drained of energy and my emotions raw.  But in the midst there is a flutter of nervousness and anticipation.  Now that there is a little more clarity around my father’s situation, I have been able to confirm a plan which has been bubbling away for a while.  In fact it makes a lot of sense because it means communication will be easier, as would travel if things deteriorated suddenly.  And that plan is to head to Hong Kong, to meet Terri of A Fresh Chapter while she is in Asia on her Adventure of Hope.  So, in the whirlwind that has swept this week into our lives, I find myself on the brink of an experience which I believe will be inspiring, warming and humbling.   In addition to sharing our own experiences, plans and ideas, we will be able to share the grief of losing Rachel and Susan. I am sure that we will talk about the subject of her blog posting about being united in grief and the strength of our online community.

In such a stormy week, which I will remember for painful reasons, this is a real glimmer of sunshine .