I was able to visit with Chris before she left for Oklahoma.

I saw her husband, James, as he dropped the kids off Tuesday. He told me that Chris was managing her pain pretty well that morning and that it would be a good time to call. I called her from the car on my way to work.

Her voice was weak when she answered the phone. It startled me.

“Hey, it’s D.”

“I’m so glad that you called,” her voice gained strength almost immediately.

We spent my half hour drive talking about potty training, work, and the book club. I came close to crying only when she asked me whether or not Mike was going to propose. “James had to learn the hard way,” she said gently. “Life is too short. Tell Mike to get with it.”

I couldn’t focus for the rest of the day. My mood was bittersweet. My dad picked Elyse up from daycare, and it gave me a chance to stop by her house. I kept trying to prepare myself for the worse. I told myself that she’s lost a lot of weight, that she’s in pain. I promised myself that I wouldn’t cry.

It wasn’t necessary. Chris has lost a lot of weight, but she still looked like herself. She was full of good humor. Her sister and a few other friends were there. We talked and laughed as usual. I had never noticed the color of her eyes before. Hazel.

By Friday, an update e-mail was circulating. Chris made it to Oklahoma, and she is impressed with her treatment center. I’m glad that I was able to spend some time with her to see that this battle hasn’t broken her spirit.

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