Today I went to a celebration party for Megan, my dear friend who has had treatment over the past 18 months or so for cancer, and has come through now to a place of remarkable health and vitality. It is amazing and wonderful to be at this point, as pancreatic cancer, which she had, has a very poor prognosis. The party was held at the Community Centre at Aberfoyle Park, with a great band – The Cherrypickers – fantastic food, lovely company and a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the power of love and friendship, solidarity through hard times, and the precious amazing mystery of being alive.
Chris and Megan both made great speeches – Chris taking some time to reflect on Megan’s many wonderful qualities – in particular that she is Una Mujer Feroz (they walked part of the Camino de Santiago trail in Spain a few years ago, hence the Spanish) – a fierce woman – “that is to say, she is bold, exceptional, full of zeal, furiously active, devoted and determined. She takes her friendships and relationships enormously seriously; she feels deeply and she loves fiercely.” What a wonderful way to live! She is also kind, warm, insightful and funny.
Megan for her part spoke about us, her family and friends, and the difference it makes to have people around to hold us when the going is hard. I know this too from my own life, but I also know that when things are tough, it’s not always easy to reach out, or to ask people for help. It often feels simpler to close ranks and draw inwards, so the grace and generosity of Megan and Chris’s rallying of us, and openness to us, really meant a lot.
It was a wonderful afternoon, with wonderful people whom I am very grateful to have in my life. Here are some pictures…