Magazine article Working Mother

Truly Beautiful

Magazine article Working Mother

Truly Beautiful

Article excerpt

When my best friend called not long ago to tell me she had "a bad mammogram," I was stunned. And the speed with which events unfolded after that phone call continued to shock. It wasn't more than two weeks later that Jan Smith, my best friend since seventh grade, was getting ready for a double mastectomy-even as she tried to get us ready for what she would be facing.

Jan is someone who takes care of others. She makes food for you when you're unhappy, sends hand-sewn gifts (pillows or zippered bags) when you're sick and writes cards and letters to you-even if you have a bad habit of emailing her back. She takes care of everyone else's elderly relatives and drops everything to be at your side when you need her.

One of the things that distressed Jan about getting breast cancer was that she had to forgo constantly acting in the service of others, as she was forced to tend to her own needs and physical issues. I told her she was just taking 12 weeks of FMLA from her volunteer job as caregiver.

Her illness gave other people the chance to show her how grateful they are. …

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