I’ve already posted this once today. But, at the time that I shared it I didn’t know what to say, I hadn’t thought what to say. I did, actually, know about the cancer diagnosis. But the way my mind/nature works is I Go To War. You tell me you have cancer? Fine, great, I’m going to start DOING stuff, whatever you need, I’m here, you just ask, even if you don’t ask I may just start DOING stuff. We don’t have to talk about it for hours, you know, unless you want to. I know what it is. I’ve seen it before. Yeah, it SUCKS. It’s terrifying. But we ALL get knocked down in life (some of us get knocked down more than others) and those of us who are still here standing are the ones who just Keep Getting Back Up, staggering back in the ring and taking the that next round of punches directly to the face.
Amy and I met in the 4th Grade. We would have been Best Friends in the womb, but it took until 4th Grade to actually meet, so that is when it started. BEST FRIENDS. You know, friends so close, so never apart from each other that our Cross Country Coach (for the record it was AMY’S idea to run Cross Country – I had never even heard of it, but of course she had Seth for an older brother and he was an EPIC RUNNER), Coach Shimer (who, in the end, taught me A LOT about what it takes to be a good person in this world and to GET BACK UP and keep RUNNING) christened us “Namy Bentner.” We had shirts, with that name on it. Because we were One.
Amy is the friend that I wish for each of you to have. She is my Heart Sister. If you have one, you know what I am talking about. If you do not, there is still time. As long as we each draw breath on this Earth there is still time. Time to connect and time to Love. People say all the time, “the kind of friend who you can not speak to for YEARS and then pick up right where you left off.” Because your hearts never actually parted, your hearts have been speaking the entire time.
A LOT of things have happened to us. To each/both of us. Things we never foresaw. Things you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. But we, each of us, both of us, keep getting back up and going back into that ring and fighting the next round. And EVERY time. Every, every, every time we get knocked down, the other one is there.
Do you know? Do you know that there is one person in the entire world who when you HAVE to tell someone, when someone else HAS to know and then it will be manageable, potentially okay, that one person WILL be there? Will pick up the phone? Will get in the car and DRIVE? Will sit with you if that is what you need??
Amy is my person.
I am hers.
Here we are. And it’s been a LONG TIME since The Fourth Grade. Both of us divorced. Both of us slogging it out. Both of us living lives we didn’t “see coming.” But we’re HERE and it’s pretty glorious.
And she’s a single mom to a young daughter and a Public School Teacher and now this, cancer. But, you know, it happens, to the best of us.
I have a hard time asking people to give money. BUT, if you would otherwise give of yourself/help in some way that is not possible because of distance or, you know, LIFE, I think money is a pretty darned good surrogate. If you CAN give, if you feel the call to give, it will be a blessing, a mitzvah, it will be marked in your “good” column because granting blessings and giving mitzvoth to those amongst us who are in need, that is what makes us most human, that is the “up side” of being human.
If you have a Heart Sister/Brother give for them. If you don’t, give as the prayer/hope/intention that you WILL find him or her.
And for those of you who were WITH us at BHS. And I know a lot of you are here (on THE Facebook with me). You know? We turned out pretty darned okay. And we are, in reality, there for each other. And I would not have guessed it. And for a long time I was “far gone” from Brookfield. But you all warm my heart and make me even more grateful than I already am every, single day, to be drawing breath. And I KNOW you remember us, Namy Bentner. As my mother said, “You and Amy were DORKS in High School.” Yes, yes, we were and I, at least, am PROUD.