The Last Visit

Visiting a mentor for the last time brought us bittersweet encouragement.

The last visit with our mentor this side of heaven encouraged US more than it encouraged her.

Today’s Five-Minute Friday Prompt: Visit
The goal: Write for five minutes, then hit the ‘publish’ button.


The only thing recognizable about the face in front of us is the smile and the gentle heart behind it. Her head showcases stitches, seams and baldness left from chemo, surgery and radiation. But she welcomes us with her usual open heart and rather than talk of her brain tumors and quick descent from professor to patient, she asks about our writing project.

The irony is inescapable.
In her team-taught writing class, I had shared a chemo story. Anita and I began might-have-beens and the don’t-you-wish-we’d-known conversations. In fact, it was for her class that we launched something so much bigger than a classroom project: The dream of sharing our story so that others would not feel alone in their cancer-fighting caregiver journeys. She and our other professor had encouraged us, and she shared of her triumph over breast cancer.

And so we wrote.
We conferenced and we wrote.
We brought things to class we had never shared with anyone else and we laughed and we cried and we wrote.
And she encouraged us.

Now we sit at her kitchen table wanting to help her as she struggles to make her hands do as she wants, and she smiles her gentle smile and she encourages us. Keep going. Keep telling your story. Cancer is so hard. Having it is hard and caregiving for someone you love is hard. Keep going ladies.

And so we write.

We write in the hopes that no one feels alone in their cancer-caregiving journey, urged on partly by our last visit (on this earth) with a special, warm-hearted lady who put aside the pain of her own cancer journey to encourage us on our journey to chronicle our stories.


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