Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Letters to Marcia

In 1995 Cuppa and I took a little holiday trip to Eastern Ontario and Ottawa, and onto Montreal. When we were in Ottawa, we had the great pleasure of spending an enjoyable evening with Marcia and Robin. It was the first time that we had visited with them in more than fifteen years. In fact, we had lost contact with them for quite a while.

Marcia and I had taught across the hall from each other for several years back in the seventies, and we all became friends: me, Marcia, Cuppa and her husband, Robin. But we eventually lost contact after Maria and Robin made several long distance moves. It was my fault really; I wasn't a very faithful keeper-upper and letter-writer back then. But I had heard that they were living in Ottawa, and when I knew that we'd be visiting the city, I was keen to renew acquaintances. Somehow, I found Robin's email address, and we've kept in fairly close contact ever since.

Fewer than three years after this reunion, our youngest needed to go to Ottawa for a co-op work placement from her university. When our oldest daughter decided to move with her, Marcia and Robin helped them to find an apartment, and our contacts and with them became more frequent. Often, when we made the long drive to Ottawa to visit the girls, we'd drop by and visit our old friends too. (Since then, as most of you know, Cuppa and I have ended up here in Ottawa too, and our friendship with Marcia continues.)

But about a year and a half after the girls moved here, Robin sought medical help for back pain and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. What a shock! Robin was an athletic and fit man who in his early fifties looked and moved like a much younger fellow. He tried valiantly to beat it and stay with Marcia and his three teenagers, but lost the war only about six months later, early in 2000.

When I received Marcia's initial email, I was in shock and wrote a brief reply expressing my concern, but I didn't want to intrude much into this trial of theirs. However, Cuppa, with her different personality, took it upon herself to write longer and frequent supportive letters to Marcia, who received them ever so gratefully. Because of the stress she was under, Marcia's replies were generally on the brief side, but she found Cuppa's letters to be very uplifting and appreciated them greatly.

Cuppa kept these letters on file and has recently begun to post them on Blogger in Letters to Marcia. I knew that she was planning to do this but didn't realize how far she had gotten until I checked in this morning. She already has eleven posts online, but before she gets too far with this and it becomes onerous to catch up, I thought you might like to get in on the whole series. It begins here with a Letter to Marcia on September 09, 1999. I think you'll find it well worth your while to follow along.


ChrisB said...

What beautiful letters Cuppa wrote to her friend. They must have been such a comfort to Marcia.

Bonita said...

Bless your sweet Cuppa, for the generosity of her spirit and the fragrance of her soul. I shall spend my afternoon determining just what flower she represents.

I took care of a man who had pancreatic cancer; the end stages are beyond description. No words.

Coll said...

This past year my family also dealt with pancreatic cancer. It is a furious and unrelenting foe. Bless your Cuppa for having the insight and the kind heart that she does. Having the support of others makes the unbearable bearable.

The very nice man said...

Amazing what difference people can make in other people's lives!! Well done, Cuppa!