Known Value of Support Groups
This is a companion piece to yesterday's posting about the possible survival advantage of being in a support group. Although that claim is very controversial, it is a very well known fact that, for some women, the right support group is absolutely the best thing they can do to enhance their living well through cancer.
I have been faciliating support groups for more than 25 years and know that sometimes there is a phase where a particular group really clicks. When that happens, the women usually stay in touch with each other long after they stop attending the group, and the friendships are remarkable. This is an email, that I received yesterday, from a woman in one of those groups. Here is the context: This group, for women who were then in treatment for first-time breast cancer, met about four years ago. Since then, they have informally gotten together for breakfast one Saturday/month and occasionally had special events. One such very special event happened yesterday. Two of the women in the group are getting married this summer! How wonderful is that?
Here are emails from the brides (all the names have been changed):
I was going to wait until tomorrow but I just have to respond now after reading your lovely words, Mary The photos are gorgeous- thank you- and the memories of today I will treasure always. Loved the birds on your wedding invitation. Great choice!!!! I am so happy we could spend today together. I am so honored by and grateful for my "Community Chest" (aka Hester High): Thank you for letting me tell my story so I can now turn the page and go forward. Karen, thank you for hosting and coordinating this wonderful day. Your home is picture perfect and so relaxing. I am inspired to make my house more homey. More strada, anytime! Lovely fruit tart. I need your recipes- what kind of cheese was in the strada? and more decorating ideas. Mary I am so glad we are bride "buds" Who knew? Love your anecdotes AND your ZEST for life!!!!!! I love the bracelet, blue undies, and my hydrangia plant which right now is beside me in the kitchen. I will plant it so I can see it from my kitchen. Each one of you inspires me. I think of you each and every day. I cannot remember each of the offerings you brought but you created a magnificent and rich tasty FEAST! Elie- the trifle and the bacon-scruptious, So glad you love your new job. Molly- the cake was over the top- Michael loved his large piece and gobbled it up! So good to see you again! Love the new hair color. Hope you can come to Panera during summer. Jane, you are so adorable- love you to pieces-the fruit was delicious. You did a great job with gift selection. So good to see you again and hope we will get to see you more often at panera. Jen, thank you for your humor, your laughter and love, So great to hear that your career is moving forward. Jessica,so nice we got to sit together and share today up close. its so good to still be in Weds support group with you. Hope to see you soon again-this week? Thank you for today.Thank you for coordinating us each month. Meredith- love your red car. Always wanted a red one. Love your wit. Thank you for making today possible. Caroline, how good to catch up with you and have you there. I will be thinking of you. Thank you. Linda, you were great with refreshment set up and clean up, wit, wisdom and grace. Thank you for today. Sara, what a treat to have you here with us. RN- so awesome! You will find the right job soon, I know you know that. Thank you for today. Hester, you are always with us in spirit. Thank you for everything.
You each have taught me what it means to hold and be held in someone's heart. I am so fortunate and eternally grateful.
From: The Other Bride
Subject: Thank you for the amazing party and our unflappable friendship xoxo
Thank you Karen for hosting another amazing brunch in your gorgeous home
Thank you Linda for being a fantastic photographer. Do you do weddings?
Thank you Jane for selected perfect gifts and wrapping them like precious daughters
Molly, the cake was a killer and I for one am happy to die a few times for those chocolate covered strawberries
Alice thank you for waiting so many years to marry in order that we may share a bridal shower
Meredith yum blueberry blackberry muffins
I lost track of who brought what.
If we need weddings for more occasions like this I will consider remarrying again and again.