Pop culture is filled with a lot of nonsense. Most of it is nonsense, honestly. But some of it is not. Some of it is worth reflection. Some of it is worth contemplation and even celebration. Today is February 13th and if you are a savvy consumer of pop culture, you know that means it is Galentine’s Day, a day set aside by the fictional Leslie Knope of Parks and Rec for ladies to celebrate other ladies.
If you got the worst news of your life just now, do you know who you would call? Is there a second call? A third? However many phone calls, however many names sprang into your head, that’s your posse. That’s your squad. Those people make up your 911 crew.
Having one other person in your crew, that is special. Having two is tremendous. Three people you can call in a crisis and research says you have reached friendship levels that increase longevity and happiness to maximum levels. More than three, you are unbelievably lucky.
I have dozens. I don’t know how. I don’t know why. But, I have dozens. They are my posse, my Lady Posse, my Cancer Crew, the Hos that I put before Bros.
Being diagnosed with cancer will clarify, very quickly, the people who can be counted on to get things done and the people who can not. My Lady Posse is filled with women who get things done.
Being single and cancerous meant everything I needed doing needed to be done by someone not living under my roof. It meant rides to appointments and rides to the store and cooking and cleaning and laundry and dog walks and company and, well, everything, somebody from outside my house had to do that.
My parents did a lot but they both worked full-time and couldn’t do everything, even though they wanted to. And oh, how they wanted to. They wanted to do everything.
My Lady Posse, though, they did as much as my mother could stand to let someone else handle and then so much more. My friends closest to me, they cooked for me, they drove me places. They took me to treatments. They sat with me. They held my hand while needles were jabbed in places with more force than necessary and spent the night in dour hospital rooms, advocating with nurses on my behalf. My friends from far away, they sent me care packages. They called me. They sent me cards. Practically every week for almost a year, I received a gift from far away.
And all my Lady Posse, for a year and a half, they paid my bills. If I had a dime to my name, all that time, it was because it was given to me. I can not now, still, adequately describe how that felt. And the thought of it causes a lump to form in my throat and my screen to blur.
And now I am well, my Lady Posse still keeps me going. They tell me my writing is great. They share my writing with their friends. They yell at me when I don’t write. They cheer on every project I undertake. They hold me accountable. They tell me I’m pretty and I’m having a good hair day and my ass looks great in these jeans. The posse, they have my back.
During this long, horrible, shit show that has been the last four and a half years, I’ve tried to make sure to thank each person for each thing they did. I tried to make sure everyone knew how much all of it, the individual and collective acts, how much they meant. I’m not sure I did a very good job of it. And even if I did the best job, it still warrants repeating.
Thank you. Thank you for every card, every package, every visit, every phone call, message, casserole, chore, errand, appointment, text, cookie, knitted hat and inappropriate joke. Thank you for cutting my food when I couldn’t. Thank you for picking up the tab. Thank you for telling me I looked great. Thank you for being mad at the same people I was mad at. Thank you for loving the same people I loved. Thank you for the links you share and the tweets you retweet and the Facebook comments. And thank you for telling me it was not a problem and not to worry and it wasn’t inconvenient and no big deal and not to worry about asking. Because it was a very big deal. It was the very biggest deal of all.
Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my butt. Because my butt is way larger than my heart and can hold much more gratitude.