It always happens around this time of year: that first beautiful day of spring!
It's a day of renewal. Spring breezes and warm weather, coupled with clear blue skies, have that affect. The first few warm spring days have arrived here. Grass is growing, little buds are peeking through, and I can see that the rhubarb is just pushing up.
And my heart is so happy to see these things. My skin is soaking in the sun and the gentler winds (although, today they are anything but gentle).
However, the very first beautiful day of spring makes me think about Carole's. Carol had had lymphoma years before and she'd had radiation therapy to get rid of it. In a very small percentage of cases, years later that radiation can cause leukemia. Carole won that lottery. Fortunately, Carole was a fighter. And she fought through this illness too. She lost all of her gorgeous, thick dark hair, spent hours getting chemo, and days in the hospital.
We were friends from a very close-knit group at work. And we all went in small groups, sometimes 2, and occasionally just a single person. We watched her struggle, brought her warm blankets, small trinkets, and news from the outside world. We were there. We celebrated when she was told she was in remission.
And then the worst happened: somehow as Carole was getting better and feeling stronger...as she was standing in her bathroom and looking in the mirror and willing her hair to grow back in...she got the chicken pox.
It doesn't sound like a big deal, the chicken pox. And it generally isn't, except when your immune system has been destroyed. Carole had no immune system. It wasn't long before she was incredibly sick and in the hospital. We barely had time to get our heads around that news and the medical professionals deemed it necessary for Carole to be placed in a coma.
She died on the first, beautiful day of spring.
So, forgive me if I am examining the tulips and crying at the same time.