Posted by: jeannineatkins | October 31, 2008


After visiting my friend Pat’s school last week, I went home with her while she called her nurse, hoping for good news, but because of former tests, not really expecting to hear about the miracle she’s long prayed for. After she hung up, we cried and walked. This week she’s making plans to try another experimental treatment at Yale. Yesterday I waited for her call following a doctor’s appointment. Her first words: “Good news, Jeannine! It hasn’t spread to my liver.”

She had more news, less good, but looking on the bright side is Pat all the way, and I realized if you’ve spent your life looking for silver linings, you may well spend the last chapters of your life that way, too. Or not. We humans are full of surprises. I went to bed thinking about how with so much else out of control, we really do get to shape our life stories, or at least decide what we want to stress, what we want to consider as climax, or let enter our dialogue, set a tone.

And while there are times when it’s obnoxious to try to see the good with the bad, and I’ve been called on it, hey, it’s a scheme that kind of works. Yesterday I got to see other dear friends, Jo, Peg, and Ellen for lunch. Yay!

And then Jo even wrote about a moment which I couldn’t put into better words, so go read her blog! jbknowles Reading “Friends, Strangers and Maple” was like seeing a photograph that for once seemed all me. About a gray-bearded gentleman who shuffled over to our table in the farm store cafe, clutching his truly-stuffed and ruffled notebook, recognizing us as kindred souls but not asking for the name of our agent or even change for a cup of coffee. He’d just run out of names after all those words. And was most happy with the perfect one Jo gave him.



  1. Pat is such an amazing woman. Please let her know she’s in my thoughts.
    It was so great to see you, Jeanine. And special to share that moment with you.

  2. I always do let Pat know of your very good thoughts.
    xoxo back to you!

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