Yesterday I lost a friend.....
Aruna, with her wide open smile and twinkling eyes brought such freshness to our lives. She faced all the challenges in her life with a smile, even cancer.
I remember meeting her after her first chemotherapy cycle. She had lost all her hair, but not her infectious laughter. She kept laughing and giggling over many things, and I came away feeling happy and hopeful, even forgetful of why I went there in the first place!
She put up a brave fight, but the last time I saw her, over a year ago, she looked a ghost of her former self. She had lost a lot of weight, and her smile was not as full and joyous as before. Her large dark eyes looked even larger in her gaunt face, and were full of pain. Even as she continued to smile, we could see that she had given up the fight.
So many times during the past year, I have wanted to visit her but something or the other would come up, and I put off the visit.
Yesterday, when I heard the news of her death, all I could feel was regret. Regret at not making the time to visit her, at not calling more often, at not telling her that I was there to share her pain, at not helping her through this very difficult time.... I miss you, Aruna, and I wish I had not let the mundane duties of my life come in the way of spending more time with you.