What do I do?!!

Your day started out like any other Wednesday.  The chaos of the morning calmed down and you are enjoying the peace and quiet of your car.  You answer a call from your roommate from your young and free days.  The ones that we all wish we could go back in time for a few minutes and relive.. every once and awhile.  She lives across the country and you frequently text but phone calls are few and far between.  (Who has time to talk these days?! With work, kids, spouses, family, and all the other stuff in between it's hard to find time to pick up the phone.)

As you answer, you hope to hear her happy voice and instantly you know that something's wrong.  Her voice is shaky as she says, "Hey. How are you?" Answering with trepidation, "I'm fine... how are YOU.." Here's when you begin to imagine the worst. Mentally preparing yourself for disaster and hoping you are wrong. All the while holding your breath. 

On the other end, her heart is racing. Her voices quivers, "I found out yesterday that I have cancer.  And will be starting treatment in the next few weeks." 

The rest of the details go right over your head because, let's be honest, unless you have a medical degree, the specific terminology starts to sound the same.  

You have no idea what to say. "I am so so sorry" is the only thing you can muster out.  Feelings and thoughts are swarming your mind and only some of the words make their way out.  "what can I do, what do you need?" She has no idea. She can barely think about the next hour let alone telling how you can help.  

Her life just took a sharp turn in a direction she hadn't planned. Now she's in the midst of doctors appointments, surgery, chemotherapy, and maybe even radiation. Her thoughts turn to her mortality, her kids and her husband. She questions whether or not she can do this. She understands she has no choice but truly has no idea if she can literally manage all of this new information, her life that is currently jammed packed, AND being a patient. Her faith in her own strength is dwindling quickly.    

No one can ever plan for these life changing events. And yet, they still happen. Cancer, divorce, life long illness, death.  You name it, it happens.  And it always always always is terrible and awful, and to be honest, just plain sucks.  

As her friend, all you want to do is hug her, snuggle up on the couch with a warm cup of coffee, then wine, ignore the realities of life, and binge watch HGTV.  Just like you did together so many moons ago...   

Instead, you immediately look at flights to be near her.  She doesn't want the visitors right now, plus she reminds you that there's nothing you can do while she's waiting.  All you want to do is be by her side.  To let her know she's not alone. Even though you seem to be a million miles away, you will be with her in those appointments and tough times.  You will be thinking and praying through her surgery.  And would even consider shaving your head in solidarity with her if her hair falls out during chemo.  This is what friends do.  We want to show up for our friends in need even in the middle of our own busy "life filled" lives.  Sometimes, we just don't know the best way....

This is By Your Side.  We show up when you can't be there.  You send the strength and hope and remind her that she's not alone.

In the midst of a storm, the knots and ropes on our jewelry anchor your souls together, reminding you that you are not alone.  

As a patient, the jewelry provides a sense of comfort during stressful times when you feel alone. All the while making you feel beautiful.

As a friend, when you wear a necklace or bracelet, every time you touch it, you are reminded of your friend.  You turn your thoughts to them.  Then you send a text letting them know you are thinking of them.  To a woman having a rough day, this simple act gives them the encouragement to keep going. Our jewelry is meant to bring hope to our friends who need it most. By Your Side is there for you, so you can be there for her.