essays

My Friend Is Dying / I LOVE Your Shoes

Posted on February 17, 2016 at 5:45 PM

My friend is dying.  Inoperable-we've-done-everything-we-can-for-you cancer. This ain't her first rodeo. She's visited oncology a LOT of times.  This time, out of options, they've sent her to hospice.  She's known for many things, my tall soul.  Epic trainer.  Mad research skills.  Stellar coach. Funny as hell.  Well, how'd THAT phrase come out?  Hell's nothing to be laughed at and yet here I am, writing for all to read that she's "Funny as Hell."  Take your own meaning from that. I'm letting it stand because that's the kind of day it is.

My friend is dying.  She is kind of famous for using a candle on a cupcake as an icon for transforming energy.  She's been modeling transforming energy during her walk (walk? seriously? Walk?  stumble, freefall, swim, mountain climb) with cancer.  So now, I see a cupcake in the store and I get all verklempt.  One day I burst into tears at the sight of them.  At the very least, this response will be good support for my weight loss program.  It's awkward, though.  The bakery department just isn't used to random outbursts of unstoppable tears.  She also loves herself a fine pair of shoes. And she's given to noticing outstanding footwear on others.  There were days in the hospital, given position and energy, that all she really noticed about a person was their footwear.  She'd manage to say, "I love your shoes."  Because when you only have energy for approximately four words, what better thing to say? 

Today, at the post office, I told an absolute stranger, "I LOVE your shoes."  Her face lit up. She smiled really big. And she said, "Thank you. I love them, too. AND thank you for noticing."  Thank you for noticing. Which, really, at the end of the matter, is the point.  Perhaps she could have more accurately said, "Thank you for seeing ME."  As I pressed on to the remainder of my errands I decided that, right there, is how I am going to focus on transforming energy.  I LOVE your shoes. 

And, while I'm at it, I might just roll somebody's socks up and down by declaring what is utterly unexpected in a public place by declaring,  "I love you."

Because. I do.

I love you. In general principle.  Yes, I do. And, if I saw you this day, I might also love your shoes. I won't lie to you, though.  If they are worn. old Teva sandles with thick white socks, I'll pass on loving your shoes and just stick with loving you.

Mary Anne Radmacher

PS If you would like to see this woman discuss cancer, and, using a cupcake as icon, transforming energy ... look here:   http://www.37days.com/strong-offer-friday-transform-terror-into-commitment-and-entitlement-into-hope/


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1 Comment

Reply susan
9:02 AM on February 18, 2016 
Thank you, Mary Anne, for a powerful motivation-- making sure we notice, see, people-- each other. I watched Patti's video last week and was so moved. I am sorry about your friend...