When Spyros met Emma

A few years ago, after not having seen her for a while, I meet Emma at a party of our mutual friend Sarandis in Edinburgh. We had not seen each other since graduating from high school, and actually we did not know each other too well at school on account of hanging out with different groups.

We stand in the hallway and chat about Edinburgh, our studies, just updating each other. I know that Emma is living with cancer, so I ask her about her experiences, therapies and medical procedures. She answers me with confidence and honesty. She remembers that in high school I had missed school for a year because I also had cancer and she asks me about my own experiences with it. As we talk, we discover that we both had the same cancer, Ewing’s Sarcoma.

“You must be kidding,” we say to each other. “Really? Unbelievable!”

That day, I felt that we were starting a friendship that we had wanted to have begun years ago. Since then, we have lived in different countries, but each time we would meet, it was as if we had known each other forever.

In fact, I remember pointedly the last time we met. It was last year, during the second week of August. We went out for a drink in downtown Athens. We sat at the terrace of a bar in Monastiraki with a view of a lit up Akropolis. It was a very warm evening. We spoke about relationships, therapies, and her blog. I remember her aura, how she moved, the special sound of her voice. We went on talking for hours, laughed, hugged each other, and had a lovely evening.

Emma,

the only certainty is that I cannot write even one tenth of how beautifully you wrote! But every time I sit at this place, I feel grief and longing. I think of so many things that we still had to say to each other, and how much more time I wanted to spend with you. Even so, I feel lucky I met you and grateful for all the time we had together. Your courage, your optimism and the positive energy you so generously shared will touch us all forever. This is, in fact, what you taught us.

I think of you with all my love.

Spyros

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