My dear friend By Helen Townsend

One of my very closest friends was diagnosed with cancer this week. We don’t know what the future holds, but the very word cancer strikes fear into my heart. I’m at that age where friends get sick, some have died. I don’t want that to happen to this warm and wonderful friend. I love her too much. I don't want her to have this disease at all.

The day I found out, it was on my mind all day. I sent her an email. I knew she’d get lots of others too and I wanted to send something more, but flowers felt kind of spooky. I just talked to some mutual friends and we shared hopes and fears and said we mustn’t dwell on the worst, but with the worst always somewhere in the back of our heads.

My friend is a comedian – professional and socially. She’s one of the funniest people I know, which makes the next bit of my story relevant. I was walking back from the shops, waiting at the lights to cross the main road. Suddenly, I realised her husband was standing there beside me, looking a bit grim, a bit sad, a bit worried. I took a second look, he was in profile, but yes, it was him, face, body, clothes. So of course I threw my arms round him and said, “You know we’re with you both, don’t you? Give her….”

He turned, full face view, not too pleased given he was a complete stranger. He certainly didn’t accept my fumbling explanation and embarrassed apology very graciously. Understandable I suppose, but at least he gave me the chance to text a message to my friend that made her laugh.


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I've been a writer forever and have had 22 books published. Now I'm writing short stories and I love it. See them on my website and please comment. I love feedback. And of course short shorts here.

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