A friend for the journey

Me and Dana at the 2012 Relay for Life

Me and Dana at the 2012 Relay for Life

October will always make me think of BBD (Bosom Buddy Dana).  It was around this time two years ago that we first met – at the first cancer patient yoga class that I attended after my surgery. My intention was just to sit quietly and take in the sanctuary of my fellow survivors’ presence. I had only been to class a few times – and I knew there was incredible healing and loving energy to be had there.

As I sat on my mat after class and listened to the woman speaking to the instructor, I vividly remembered my first class in late September, when Mary  approached me afterward to welcome me to the group and ask about my story. I started to cry as I said, “I’m having a mastectomy.” for the first time out loud. Putting everything into those words made fear echo deeply through me. Mary understood. She’d had a mastectomy a handful of years before. She asked if it was OK if she hugged me. Yes, oh, yes, that would be so comforting.

As I relived my moment, I saw my soon-to-be friend living her moment. Sharing out loud with the instructor that she was having a mastectomy in a couple of weeks, she had started to cry. I continued threading the circle of caring and compassion that is our yoga group, and I approach Dana asking if I could hug her. We stood in the doorway after class for 15 minutes…and a very special friendship was born.

Moving Together
By Vicki L. Flaherty

There she was.
She appeared shaken,
a bit hidden in the darkness.
Her voice quivered —
with familiar fear.

Tears welled from nowhere,
her body calling for comfort.
I opened my heart to her,
and she reached for it.
A thousand feelings
communicated in our embrace.
As the others supported me,
I am holding her now.

Sharing with her,
I see how far I have come,
how I’ve learned
so much so quickly.
We’ve been walking together
side-by-side for months,
though not knowing.

Now we find we are walking
hand-in-hand on the journey.
Where the path will lead,
we do not know.
There’s comfort knowing
we’ll move ahead together.


About Vicki Flaherty

I feel most alive when I am creating, whether through my writing and poetry, gardening and photography, or simply living my life each day. Running and yoga enrich my being. Travel opens me to new possibilities and greater awareness. I am happiest when I’m with my husband Jim. I share my gratitude for all the gifts in my life on my This Abundantly Delicious Life blog. I find a special joy in helping people succeed. I’ve done something valuable when I’ve helped a colleague or friend see their brilliance and express their full potential. I have awesome opportunities to do this as an industrial/organizational psychologist through leadership, mentoring, coaching, career and other talent programs. I try to encourage Leading with Intention at my blog of this name. As a breast cancer survivor, I found comfort and hope in writing. Poetry flowed through me like a river of healing during my diagnosis and treatment, which I share on my Mostly My Heart Sings blog, that I might offer encouragement and a place of grace and heart for those seeking comfort and hope along their journey.

3 responses »

  1. Pingback: Where We’ve Been | Mostly My Heart Sings

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