by Lynn Levin
When the final rounds of radiation and chemo exhausted my friend Pam but failed to halt the resurgence of her breast cancer, when her tumor markers rose and she lay bedridden, her family advised me that rather than calling and emailing, I should write her letters. I wrote to her on deckle-edged stationery silk screened with bright flowers, on museum cards depicting works of fine art, and on picture postcards. I wrote in my best penmanship. I told Pam again that I loved her, that I knew she never stopped climbing mountains, that I only wished she did not have so many mountains to climb. She once said that we were like sisters. Those words bounded me to her like a ribbon. We each wanted the best for the other. We laughed together and celebrated each other’s successes and joys. In darker times we sympathized, advised, and listened. We were friends for forty-seven years. I hope that I was as good a friend, as good a sister, to her as she was to me.