Saturday, February 21, 2009

"Do you realize that you have the most beautiful face?"

I took a picture of Terryn taking a picture.

A letter to my friend Terryn, who was recently diagnosed with cancer.

Hi Terryn,

I have wanted to write you for months. I have shopped for cards and started this letter so many times. The cards seem so sentimental and my letters seem so self-serving. I want to be totally honest with you and tell you that this sucks! I know I have absolutely no idea of how much this sucks, but I know that it does. It blows actually. I am using terms that I hate. Terms that if my children used I would tell them that they are being lazy and not using language properly. I would tell them that they need to use their brains and come up with something more creative to say. But I have thought about this and these are great terms for this cancer.

I want you to know that I love you. I do. I don't even know you that well. We have not spent very much time together. But I know I love you. You inspire me. And not this sucking, blowing cancer fight either. You inspire me to be a creative and better person. You did this before the cancer, I just never would have actually told you.

To hear my mother-in-law, you are the perfect mom, homemaker and volunteer. I was so terrified the first time you came to my house to visit!!! I had heard for years about your beautiful home, the beautiful kitchen you designed. I had seen the lovely hand-made cards and gifts you sent. I thought, "Great, Martha is coming. I just want to run and hide." I knew that when you saw my mess of a house, you were going to be horrified. I just knew it. I was sure you lived in a perfect home.

And then you arrived and you were gracious and lovely, beautiful inside and out. I found out that you were funny and fun to be with. Your family was so easy to have around, the perfect guests. And instead of feeling like a lazy lump after the visit was over, I felt inspired to do some of the things we talked about. I started projects. I felt productive.

We had a great time visiting you guys this summer. When I got to actually see your mythic house I loved it. I loved it because it is perfectly Terryn. It is not perfect. It is artsy and fun. It is the kind of place you want to go to have tea, cookies (oh god, your famous cookies) and curl up on the couch and just talk. Your kitchen is the most cozy and wonderful place. I love the cats and dogs everywhere. The kids. The garden. The pond. It is so you. I saw what your secret is...You are just being yourself. That is why it is so comfortable and wonderful to be with you and be in your home. It is lovely and in my world perfect.

I did not have the best role model for mothering, so I go around mentally collecting certain things from people I know, that I think are doing the whole wife, mother thing well. I added you to this list a long time ago. I just wanted you to know.

You know this cancer sucks and blows. And it does. You will get through this. I know you will. I love you and I think of you more often than you know. Have some tea and think of me. Hope your day is going well.

With all my love,


  1. Thank you Michelle for sharing your feelings towards a wonderful person Terryn that I do not know at all and I never met her!

    Those words would be helpful in her battle against cancer. Love, caring and being there for the people we love are stronger and more effective than lot of chemicals.

    I wish her all the best and that she would recover to be around her family and her beautiful house.

    I am honored that you stopped by my blog and I am glad to discover yours.

  2. Thank you Khaled. Your poem on your post today blew me away. It is stunning. Thank you so very much!