I’ve had a bit of a strange 24 hours. Three people, in three corners of the world, sent me messages that basically said exactly the same thing. Like my very own Three Wise Men or something!
Yesterday I remarked to a good friend: ‘Have had bit of a black mogul field of a week but definitely now cruising the easy blue back to the bottom of the chairlift, where I will be resting with a vin chaud until the next trip up on 10th December.’
His myrrh-thful response (I’m running with the Three Wise Men theme here, you notice): ‘There’ll be various moguls, unexpected off-piste runs and the odd white-out, but just make sure you let all your family and friends (who love you more than you know) pull you up the button lift of life. And don’t forget to do your bindings up (no idea where I’m going with this now). Er, bend ze knees, and all will be fine.’
Then this morning I made a flippant remark on Facebook to an old friend who now lives in Dubai that I reckon my 40s will be my best decade ever, not only because my health will be a-ma-zing by the time I hit the big four-oh in three years, but also because I may finally be ‘thin, rich and successful’. His (possibly slightly tipsy) message back was as sweet as frankincense: I’m already successful, I look great, and judging by the responses to my blog, I’m very wealthy in terms of the love I am surrounded by from my family, friends and my other fabulous readers.
This echoed the Thanksgiving email I received yesterday from a very special friend who now lives in New York. I hope he’ll forgive me for this extract – it’s pure gold:
‘Of all the people I’ve met – which is quite a lot of people due to 20 years of socializing too much (read: drinking too much) – I feel like you have the most amazing circle of family and friends. This isn’t really a new thing, I had noticed before now what a great crew you’ve got, but it was brought home to me reading your posts and the comments that followed them. Because you’re such a lovely human you attract other lovely humans and you live your life in a very loving way where you’ve embraced all those people, and it’s amazing to read about the various ways that they’re embracing you back. Your attitude, the brave way that you’ve looked at this – your approach is sort of reminiscent of a war correspondent, even a travel writer, on a dangerous but important commission.’
Well, that’s me humbled. And honoured. And feeling that those missives from all three of my gorgeous friends around the world contained the same gift of wisdom: I am rich beyond my wildest dreams if I realise that love is the most valuable thing – indeed, the only thing – that matters.
So today I am counting one of my biggest blessings: the people I love, my friends, near and far, old and new, and my family, without whom this ‘dangerous mission’ through the badlands of cancer would be a lonely, dark and frankly terrifying journey. Collectively, you’re the reassuring voice on my sat nav encouraging me to keep going. Even though I don’t know what’s round the next bend, I know you’ll be with me every step of the way. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.
It’s quite something, realising how much love there is surrounding me. I certainly didn’t know or appreciate it fully before my diagnosis – that’s another wonderful lesson I’ve learned in the past few weeks.
Right, back to that vin chaud, or as Alan Partridge would no doubt shout: ‘HOT WINE, Lynn’.