Once upon a time…

I knew someone. And she knew me. We were not close, but we were friendly acquaintances nonetheless. Casual chatter, banter about our families and jobs, and I made a couple of cakes for her child. While I knew her, she was diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery to remove it. I made a dinner and sent it to her home. I prayed for her – for healing and for peace.

Two short years later, in a moment that would rival any Desperate Housewives episode, she betrayed what semblance of friendship we had. I was hurt beyond measure, and nursed invisible wounds for a while. But I forgave her. I prayed again for her – and again, for healing and for peace.

That was nearly four years ago. We have not spoken since. We have been in the same room only once, and we dared not look at each other. I drove away wishing I had the courage to face her and to tell her that I held no malice toward her, that I prayed for her daily, and that I wished her true peace.

Would it have changed anything between us? I doubt it. Maybe just on the surface, and maybe only on a deeper level we would never have the chance to discuss again. Maybe it would have been a chance for peace between us that only we would recognize and acknowledge with a brief and silent glance amid a knowing smile.

I may never get to find out. I learned today that her cancer is back, and that it has spread to vital organs. I imagine she and her family are having a tough enough time dealing with this news. I so badly want to reach out to her. I thought of making a meal and showing up on her doorstep, except that I fear the door slamming in my face. I thought of sending a card or an email. I even considered looking her up on Facebook.

And then there’s the question of what to say if I do reach out. I am this tiny little speck in her past, and her present is filled with so much right now. Is it more selfish of me to want to speak to her before I no longer have the chance? I am heartbroken for her, but I am alone with my thoughts. And if those thoughts should turn to words, will they bring her peace?