Last week on my birthday, David and I had an impromptu dinner at Outback with a couple of good friends, Leslie and Chris. At the last minute I had made the decision to go out to eat and see who wanted to come. It was my birthday and I was anxious because the next day was round two of chemo. I needed a night out.
Chris and Leslie were free and braved the traffic after work to meet us. We had such a good time. Great food of course, and our waitress was awesome, treating us more as friends than just another table. Maybe it was because it was my birthday, or maybe it was the telltale cancer headwrap, or perhaps it was just because we were a group of friends; happy people, having a good time.
We ate far too much and just had a blast catching up, talking about books and starting a new book club and the crazy paradigm shift that has occurred this summer making Kevin Federline seem like a stand up guy and good dad. Ok, It was Chris and I who talked Britney trash and laughed about how her behavior has made Kevin look good. David and Leslie humored us kindly. The staff sang me the loud happy birthday song and although I knew I had an appointment with poison the next morning, for that evening I forgot about it and just enjoyed myself.
Several days later I received a package in the mail from Chris. He had come to the dinner not knowing it was my birthday and decided to send me a gift, though it was not necessary. Especially since he and Leslie treated us to dinner. (We invited them to dinner and they picked up the bill. Who has friends like this?) In the package was a particular book that Chris had discussed with us and that I thought sounded great. He sent me a copy and I was very happy to get it and told him so.
I finished the series of books I had been reading a few nights ago and picked up this book to start it. When I opened it, I realized that he had inscribed it in his beautiful handwriting. It says:
Chemo tomorrow, but tonight only a wonderful dinner out with friends.
August 13, 2007
Chris, I hope you read this and know that I am humbled by your friendship and that I will remember how you helped me know that though chemo might be a day away, I am not alone. Then, now or ever. Thanks for the gift. And the book.