They are the flowers that come back year after year, the ones that always bloom.

The rose might be the most faithful floral of all.

Paul's Rose

Image update. Paul Militaru.

We have been best friends for over 30 years. We met through work, followed our husbands’ career, but bonded on a very different level than they did.

We moved our families together to four different geographic areas.

She is the one I called when I went into labor in the middle of the night; she took care of my toddler until family arrived.

We have seen each other through pregnancies, child rearing, financial concerns, health issues, rumors of infidelity.

We’ve shared friends, vacations, laughter and sorrow, life.

A few years ago, they sold their home, moved to Georgia to be closer to  grandchildren. Soon after, she moved her aging parents from Michigan, building them a home on an adjacent lot. The oldest of 8 children, in her words, “it’s just what you do.”

She called me last week, there was a different tone in her voice, so I waited.

She has skin cancer.

An avid boat enthusiast, gardener, camper, swimmer, she has always been in her element when outdoors. We spoke often of trips to the dermatologist, the many “things” that met with lasers, all of which were deemed safe at the time.

It started with a cut on her hand that would not heal. She called me the day before the stitches were to be removed. They told her they got it all.

I am praying that they were right.

Her name is Rose.


Image update. By permission of fellow blogger and amazing photographer, Paul Militaru.



This entry was posted in Family, Gardening, Health Issues, Relationships, Work and Career and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

72 Responses to Perennials

  1. Deb says:

    This is a beautiful testament to a wonderful friendship. I hope your friend stays well.

  2. Sending healing thoughts to your friend Rose. And to you in supporting her.

  3. Paul Militaru says:

    Beautiful ! 🙂

  4. Lovely post, Van. Sending prayers and good wishes for your friend! ❤

  5. I am praying for your friend Rose dear Van.. and friends like that are hard to come by.. Such a blessings she has been to you.. May it now be her turn to be blessed..
    Love and well wishes being sent.
    Sue ❤

  6. v4vikey says:

    Beautiful Post ❤

  7. I pray they are right too, Van. ❤
    Diana xo

  8. The V Pub says:

    Prayers sent for your friend. I hope that she is ok.

  9. Val Boyko says:

    Van, she is so lucky to have you as her friend. 💕
    On a very practical note, there are 3 different kinds of cancer of the skin, with different risks. The first and lowest risk is basel cell – which usually show up over time and exposure to the sun as precancerous “things’ that get burned off. The next type is squamous cell, which has a slightly higher risk of spreading. The third is melanoma – which is extremely risky that usually appears from moles that start to grow.
    All three must be taken seriously, even although the first is fairly common and easily treatable. I would recommend you search the internet and find out from your friend exactly what it is.
    Just to let you know, that’s what I did to support my husband!
    If you want to connect separately I’d be happy to share by email.
    Hugs to you and Rose ❤️

    • Thanks so much for the valuable info, Val. I do have another friend whose husband has been in melanoma treatment for a few years now. I’m so sorry if your husband is affected. It’s a tough one. I was a bit in shock at the info, and failed to ask the right question. I will,though. Thanks again. 💛 💙 💜

  10. LaVagabonde says:

    Hope your friend is okay, Van.

  11. I’m sorry to hear this Van. Keeping your friend, and you, in my heart and prayers.
    My step-daughter who is almost 27 now had skin cancer at age 9, then again at age 13. She is a thriving young woman with plenty to look forward to.
    I feel your pain.
    Much love.

  12. Erika Kind says:

    She has a wonderful friend in you. That’s why she called you. She is lucky to have you. My best wishes to your friend and of course, you, Van. Hug you 💖

  13. C.E.Robinson says:

    Van, what a lovely tribute to your friend Rose. It’s important to know the different types of skin cancer, and treatment options. Good that a blogger friend has commented on that! So important to have non-healing lesions checked by a dermatologist! I had one and luckily it was a basal cell. Surgery was extensive, however successful! It can be frightening! Healing thoughts for Rose! Paul’s rose photo is a beautiful touch to your post. 💛 Elizabeth

    • It is probably more common than we know, Elizabeth. Glad yours turned out ok. I usually freckle and burn, but grew up trying to tan. Those Coppertone years when we were told that a tan was healthy. I’m very watchful. And Paul’s rose…showed up on my Reader just after I posted. He was gracious to have me use it on there. Thanks. 💕

  14. Elyse says:

    I hope so too. Two and a half years ago, I was diagnosed with early melanoma. They operated and got it all, but they’re careful and the cancer-free “margin” wasn’t wide enough, so they operated again. I have been cancer free. So will Rose be, I hope.

  15. Nurse Kelly says:

    Beautiful post, Van. With the summer season approaching, I think I have tweeted about skin cancer three times now – including a gallery of skin cancer images. I certainly hope your friend is okay… melanoma, as you know, spreads. Basal cell is in my family, so I am very careful with my skin and self exams. My dad had a patch on his ear and had it removed just last week! Hopefully your friend’s was caught early enough. xo

  16. markbialczak says:

    I’m lending my best prayers, too, Van. Your thoughtful post reached my heart and soul.

  17. Wonderful post. Best wishes to your friend for good health. 💛

  18. Van – You are blessed to have a Rose in your life. True friends are so special. Best wishes and prayers for Rose that they are right.

  19. nimi naren says:

    Praying for your friend

  20. You are fortunate to have found such a special person to be part of your life. Something tells me the relationship is mutual. I hope her recovery is quick and the two of you can go back to enjoying the lives you deserve.

  21. D. Parker says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your friend, sending positive thoughts, and wishes for a full and speedy recovery. 🙂
    This really hit home for me, it made me cry.
    Thank you for sharing this.
    Hope this weekend treats you well. 🙂

  22. What a lovely testament to friendship, and I’m sure it’s a great comfort to Rose that she can call you and feel your love and support. Those longtime friendships are something sacred. So sorry to hear about her health scare. I hope her treatment is successful and all is well for years to come. ❤

  23. I truly hope that they got it all. Rose sounds like a beautiful soul Van and such friends should stay on as long as forever. I wish her well and you too.

  24. Maybe the cut was a blessing in disguise. Let’s hope so

  25. Thanks for telling us about your friend! What a lovely post I hope she is well! xx

  26. George says:

    Prayers and the very best thoughts for your friends recovery. What a beautiful friendship.

  27. writerinsoul says:

    It seems so unfair to be felled or laid low from doing so something you love, something which seems not only harmless but Iinherently *healthy.*

    • So true, Colette. She didn’t try, but she always managed to be tan. I freckle, burn and peel. Hence, jealous. But it was my early warning system, forcing me to avoid the sun, at least after we all lived through that Coppertone era. ☺ Thanks.

  28. Sending love and prayers to you and your friend Rose xx

  29. joey says:

    I hope so too!
    My dad had some removed a few times, over the course of several years. He has a big outdoor life as well. He was 70 by then, so I didn’t worry too much.
    Around the same time he had his last batch removed, though, my friends began having skin cancer removed, some sun-worshipers, sure, but others, not. All around my own age. It was then I began to wear hats religiously.
    It’s much more scary and common than people let on. When your friends are wearing fresh scars, it does make it more real.
    When we lived in Georgia, I wore sunscreen every single time I went out for more than getting the mail. There were so many dermatologists there. Ugh.

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