The Language of Friendship: Meaning Beyond Words

About three months ago, my dear friend Shelly had to break the news to her closest friends that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. For the four of us girlfriends (we refer to ourselves as the Fab 4), this was devastating news. We rallied around her and started thinking of how we could help. We bought four giving keys engraved with "Believe," "Inspire," "Courage," and "Strength." Our agreement was that we'd wear these keys until Shelly was well and cancer free... then we'd pay it forward.

On the very day Shelly would have her bilateral mastectomy my childhood best friend, Kelly, would also be going in for her own surgery: a biopsy of a lump. As if breast cancer hadn't shaken my world already, Kelly called the following week to inform me she too had breast cancer. Double Whammy!!! I thought of buying her a giving key of her own, but for some reason kept putting it off. Yesterday, I went with Kelly and her fiancé to her first consultation with her plastic surgeon to plan her bilateral mastectomy. The timing just felt right and I knew this was a moment Kelly needed my word, "Believe!" While I had grown incredibly fond of my key that I'd been wearing to remind me to believe that healing was near, I felt that Kelly deserved it more. She's embarking on her own battle and as special as this key was, my friendship with her and "my" key will remind her to never stop believing. I love you Shelly and Kelly... I still believe!

-Lori

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