Coping. Please don't take this away.
The above image is a photo of the "cafe" where I will be spending a great deal of time over the next few weeks, months, years, who knows. So alone I sat, after gathering up the last 2 ounces of courage left in me. MaryEllen, with a smile so warm and welcoming I cannot stop myself from crying, says, "Is that my little one? I am so glad to see you. I am so happy you came back." I imagine her riding her new Harley Davidson down backroads in the summertime. Still, you can see the battles she has faced. They are burned into her eyes. She gives me a hug, and with her arm around me we walk into the back room. A room filled with couches, recliners, blankets, and women of all ages. Some looking down, some talking to each other, some knitting, some reading.
The cafe is full. Not all of them will be in the group, some just come for the peace and serenity of this safe haven. Popcorn is cooking in the microwave. The coffee is on. Jodie is beautiful. Jodie has long grey hair, it is pulled back. It is shinier than any hair I've seen before. She is beautiful. She is an LMSW. She is what I want to be when I "grow up." She is fighting the battle too. Nancy reaches me the most. Nancy reminds me of my mother and she talks of her mother. Nancy laughs at herself for talking to much and apologizes to us. I wish that my mom would do this with me. I wish she were here with me, she needs this just as much as I do.
We are asked to think of a goal. I am the last to say my goal. My goal? Wasn't this my goal? What is left? I draw a blank. I tell Jodie that I have no more goals, it has been a big week. I tell her that I will make it all worth the fight, quoting my dear friends.
Slowly they file out. Lori stops me. She asks how I am. She is kind and compassionate. She is beautiful. She is fighting the battle too.