It must be a little over two years ago that I met Emily. I was training Focus on Facilitation and it was at the height/depth of chemotherapy: I was fat, I was bald, I was tired, I was constantly drinking milk to keep the sickness and heartburn at bay, I did most of my training sitting down.
Emily was enthusiastic and caring and kind. By Day 2 we’d discovered that we were both knitters and at breaks we chatted and compared the socks and scarves we were making. When the course finished, Emily said she’d keep in touch. A lot of people do, when they finish a course that’s longer than a day, and I’m sure they mean it. But very few actually do.
Emily did. She started following the blog. When I asked for people to read bits of the Bah! book, she offered, and read, and commented. She sent cards to cheer me up, and chatty emails about knitting and books and the family. Last year, I was working away on my birthday, and she sent a card to me via a colleague who she’d been working with the previous day, so I had something to open on the morning of my birthday.
Emily has been, and continues to be, supportive and thoughtful. Last week, I got a parcel from her:
Yarn the colours of dragon scales and a beautiful card.
What’s so lovely about all this isn’t so much the cards and the gifts but the thoughtfulness. Emily, someone I spent three days with two years ago, has proved to be the best sort of a friend. I’m so glad I have an Emily. And I want to try to be an Emily too: to support others in the long term and not just through the crisis. She’s taught me a great deal about being a friend, and I’m grateful and glad that she came my way.
There are lots of Emilys out there. I know, because they email me, asking my advice on what to knit/bake/buy for the person they love who is dancing with cancer. I’m always happy to help, and I always feel so pleased for the person on the other end of that Emily, because I know how well they are being cared for.
Do you have an Emily?