“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, and the other is gold.” I remember singing this as a young girl. I couldn’t remember where. Thanks to Google, I realized it was from my days in Girl Scouts.
What triggered this memory from years ago? A friend I met at a cancer survivor retreat is passing away. She loved the Golden Girls and even went on a Golden Girls theme cruise. She is the third one from the retreat to pass away since April 2019. In less than 2 years, 3 of the 30 ladies have passed away. All of them were younger ladies with loved ones who will miss them. I wasn’t prepared for this to happen. Recurrence makes us more aware of our own mortality. We aren’t immortal. Sometimes we forget this and act as though we will live forever.
The Healing Odyssey 53rd retreat in the mountains of California was completely out of my comfort zone. They try to make it affordable so any cancer survivor can attend. I just had to get myself to CA. Flying alone is something I’ve done before. Staying with 29 other ladies who have had cancer previously or were still being treated was an experience like no other. I had an instant bond with total strangers. My story was enough. My cancer was enough. My journey was enough. I told them stories very few people know. I cried with and hugged these new friends. I zip-lined – which is something I swore I’d never do. I went on a ropes course, high in the trees with my legs shaking so fiercely as I thought for sure I’d fall. I did yoga outside at the top of the mountain. I went for walks among the tall pine trees and sat silently to look out over the valley below.
The whole song is: Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold. A circle is round, it has no end. That’s how long I will be your friend. A fire burns bright, it warms the heart. We’ve been friends from the very start. You have one hand, I have the other. Put them together, we have each other. Silver is precious, gold is too. I am precious and so are you. You help me and I’ll help you, and together we will see it through. The sky is blue. The Earth is green. I can help to keep it clean. Across the land, Across the sea… Friends forever we will always be.
I’m forever grateful for my experience at the retreat. I hope they are able to hold it again once COVID is under control. Rest In Peace sweet friends.
I wish you peace on your journey of enough. Take a moment to reach out to your silver and gold friends today.