Saturday, January 30, 2010
Ice Cream Social on the Coldest Day of the Year!
This was a special occasion, and what happier way to celebrate than with ice cream? This party was planned to ring in a new year of hope and health for our friends Tricia and Mike. Both in their forties, Mike was diagnosed with colon cancer earlier this year. His wife Tricia and their three very young children had a lot to cope with. Not long after getting the news, Tricia was diagnosed with uterine cancer, and this is on top of a dangerous and degenerative heart condition that was diagnosed during her first pregnancy. Needless to say, these two have had enough to deal with. So they decided to have a party. I didn't know what to expect as we walked in to the familiar surroundings of their warm and friendly home. Mike greeted us with a huge smile on his face, a warm hug and kiss, and happiness in his eyes. Tricia just wrapped her arms around each of us and held on, saying how good it was to see us. We haven't visited in a while, party because we wanted to give them their space, and perhaps partly because we weren't sure what to do. That's not the case any longer. We won't stay away. Sue and I both realized when we entered that house, so full of happy life, that it's been too long, that we need to see them more, and often. Sue and I always visit together; the kids think of us as "Sue and Jeannie." The kids were happy to see us, too, and we vow not to wait so long to visit again.
On this frigid day, they had every kind of ice cream in open coolers. Hot fudge filled a crock pot. There was butterscotch, caramel, all kinds of sprinkles, and a cooler labeled in a child's printing, "wipped cream." Each container had a hand-printed label, adorably made by either Aiden (1st grade) or Lindsey (3rd grade). Kids and adults made their own individual sundaes. All I could think of, as friends and relatives filled this house, is how beautifully happy and content this family is. That is not to say that they don't have a lot to feel sad about, or to fear, or even to be bitter about, but that's not how they operate. These are two of the most positive people I've ever known, and today, they were joyful. Happiness and gratitude exuded from both Mike and Tricia. Their children were gleeful. There was no sign of sickness or sadness.
I am so glad that we were invited to share in such a day of happiness. And though I don't wear my religion on my sleeve, I sincerely thank God that my friends are OK. They're better than OK. They are fantastic and looking forward, together.
Photo credit: http://friendsboston.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/ice-cream1.jpg