I’m so glad I decided to wear this dress out to dinner tonight – and to be honest, I’m almost as glad that the sun sets so late during the Swedish summer nights! I didn’t have time to take photos before we left, and I really wanted to capture this look. I’ve e-mailed these photos to my best friend’s mom and hopefully she’ll see how grateful I am for this dress. Or more so, for the fact that she still thinks of me and cares about me.
I would like to share something with you. I’ve translated a piece I wrote last summer, as one of my weekly columns in a Swedish magazine. Before you read it, I just want you to know the story behind it.
A tuesday of January of 2010, Fanny called me. Nothing unusual about this, since we called eachother about ten times a day, whenever we couldn’t spend every waking hour together. But this particular time was special. In the worst possible way a phone call could be special.
I was sitting on my bed in the tiny sublet apartment I was soon going to move away from, the sun was shining, reflecting glitter cascades in the snow outside my window. And she told me that the doctors had found a tumour. That the pain in her right shoulder was not an infection, just like it wasn’t calcific tendinitis or anything else they had been stating – or, rather, guessing – during the last month. It was osteosarcoma. It was cancer.
The sun was still shining. I couldn’t believe it had the nerve to do so. But it did.
Six months of chemotherapy and radiation later, it was all over. No, not over. Fanny was still alive. But the doctors declared that they had done it all, and the tumour was still growing, faster and more aggressive than ever. There was nothing else to try, no miracle to hope for. We were going to lose her. In every way that mattered, it was over.
Only a handful of people even knew that Fanny was sick. She didn’t want people to worry, she didn’t want their pity. She didn’t want to say goodbye.
All she wanted was to spend the time she still had left with the people she loved, the ones she knew loved her more than anything.
And I was so, so alone in all of this. Every week I had to write a column about my life, my thoughts, my feelings. And I couldn’t write one word about the only thing on my mind, the only thing that mattered to me. The one thing that was tearing me apart, ripping my very being into pieces. Every word I wrote felt like a lie, a damn joke.
I couldn’t stand it any longer. I had to write something that was true. So I wrote this. It’s not a column, it’s a letter. A way to say all that was on my mind, without letting anyone know what was really going on. A way to tell the truth while keeping her secret safe.
When I wrote this, in my bed in our beautiful house that I had barely even noticed I was suddenly living in, I didn’t know if Fanny would still be with us when it was published. All I was praying for in that moment was that I would get to keep her. That was all I ever prayed for.
Read the whole story here.