I realize I lose some sense of humility by saying this, but I truly believe that I am a strong person -- that no matter the obstacle, hardship or heartache, I've somehow always bounced back and gotten back up on two feet, in a reasonably quick amount of time.
Because of my strength, there aren't many other people in my close group of family and friends that I consider really strong. I am so blessed to be surrounded by people who are beautiful inside and out; people who are incredibly intelligent; people who would do anything for me or someone they knew without hesitation; some that can make me belly laugh instantly.
My aunt, however, is strong in every sense of the word. So when I saw those six little words typed in a message box last night from her, I knew something very serious was going on.
My mother's sister received word from her gynocologist that there was something "irregular" from her most recent exam, something that involved her cells and would require specialized testing. I think everyone thinks the same thing in a situation like this, so I'm not even going to say it.
The scary news isn't bad by itself -- if you don't happen to be home alone this week like my aunt (My uncle is away on business) and if my aunt hasn't already dealt with so much heartache that no female should have to endure -- giant tumors, polycystic ovarian syndrome, infertility in her 20s and then, the harsh reality that she would never bear a child.
If it can happen to this beautiful, strong, fearless woman, it can happen to anyone. It can happen to me. (I do, after all, have a gyno appointment in six weeks, with my own recent laundry list of questionables and not-so-good's to bring to the table.)
I have no magic fix-it-all for my aunt, but I told her to change that "I" to a "we" because she's just not in this by herself, despite the 300 or so-odd miles.
We are just so scared right now.