Looking back in time, as I often do, I see that freshman year of high school had been tough-it was an all-girls school. I did not feel like I 'fit in' or had many friends-when it came to social situations, I could be quiet unless I was completely comfortable (sometimes I am still like this-I am fine in groups, but even better one-on-one). It was tempting to switch to the local public school and I almost did.
Sophomore year was beginning to get better. I had made a very conscious effort over the summer and decided when I got back to school in the fall that I would make new friends, come out of my shell and be more outgoing. It was actually working. I was getting invited to lots of 'Sweet 16 parties', I had friends in almost every 'group', I was talking to a few guys...life was getting good-finally, or so I thought.
The only thing that really sticks out though was this girl, E, who was a junior and we were both on JV field hockey. She was a very unhappy person and to this day, I'm not sure why-but she picked me (oh I was so lucky...) to pick on and try to humiliate every day of practice or games. She even went to the point of making fun of me when I wrote into the newspaper about something (I'm not even sure what it was-I think something with our local baseball team) and she happened to see the article and thought it was laugh-worthy. She brought it up in front of me and her friends...Another 'highlight' was when she literally kicked me out of her car in the middle of the school parking lot-after I had already gotten in and put my backpack in her trunk (we were supposed to get rides to games with older players-there were only 4-since we couldn't drive yet. Thankfully another player was running late and I smashed into the rear part of her Jeep without a seatbelt...). I think I even asked her outright once why she didn't like me-of course she claimed she did because other people were around.
During all this, I was good at ignoring that pain in my back. I became semi-good at ignoring E. Then I was diagnosed with cancer and all of that changed, forever.
Where I'm really going with this-sometimes I think about it-is the day that E came up to me-my skinny bald self with braces on my legs from the chemo drugs-in the hallway at school and apologized for being so mean to me. I was taken aback. It took cancer for her to do this. Interesting. I still kind of wonder what happened to Big E?
Today, I am grateful for: so much! God, family and friends, a great break.