Sundays were sacred days for Shirley and I.
I used to work 7 days a week for almost 6 years and Shirley begged me to take a day off for me. She would tell me ”
“Anice you are not enjoying life at all. You need a day off.”
So I picked Sundays.
Naturally, I began spending them with her, my favorite person.
On Sundays, I learned how make all of her Gerson Therapy foods and juices. We tried new recipes together. We prepped for the week. Worked on our life plans and enjoyed each other’s company. I began to look forward to Sundays because they were our days of peace and so did Shirley.
Even during the pandemic, “Sundays at Shirley’s” were my favorite. Her mom bought us patio furniture and a grill. Our friends quarantined and showed up on the weekends. We made it a ritual of sorts. We would dress up, cook yummy food, play music, games, sit on the porch or backyard with the mission of loving our friend and getting her out of her bedroom and we succeeded. Sunday became her favorite day.
As Shirley got sicker our Sundays changed. They became less about cooking and having fun. They became about coping. Shirley with pain and loneliness, me with grief. The two of us would sit in her living room pretending to watch a romcom and laugh here and there to reassure the other that we were fine.
I can’t name one movie we watched.
In those Sundays I learned how my friend’s breath changed with pain, which sound was induced by a tumor, and which hiccup caused by nausea. It’s also where I learned what to do to soothe it and all of the tricks to distract my friend. I didn’t know it then but these Sundays trained me for the incredible journey that was end of life care.
Sundays at Shirley’s in hospice were still our days. It was when I gave her facials, manicures, massages, treated her to a favorite meal and watched Grey’s.
Now, Sundays are mine for missing Shirley
Shirley was my best friend of 13 years and my absolute favorite human being. She was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma breast cancer in 2016 and metastatic breast cancer in 2018. Together, we gave cancer our best for over 5 years and inspired countless people with our dedication to each other. The two of us had the most beautiful and heartbreaking friendship. I hope to keep our friendship alive and inspire people to love authentically through this blog.