Breathe from

Carla, Carol, Me (Tonya), Barbra and Chrystal at Seasons 52 to celebrate life and friendship!

May 8, 2012

This post appeared originally at, a Web site co-owned by of one of my oldest and dearest friends and Sorors, Barbra Watson Riley. The site chronicles her life and experiences on her journey through breast cancer and the highs, lows and wisdom moments along the way. I had the great fortune and blessing of surprising her last week with my best friend and some of her best friends and supporters on her last day of radiation. CANCER FREE!

Unbeknownst to me, Barbra read my post at about the power of one simple breath and used the lesson as a way to take her journey through breast cancer and the final treatment one breath at a time. I am so very grateful for her life and the life force of our friendship. Strong as ever. One breath at a time.

When Red Ink Michele and I started this blog, it wasn’t really about the breast cancer lane. Our thought was it would chronicle 2 friends “of a certain age” going through various mid life twists and turns, and how we handled the journey of lifelong friendship. It just so happens that the twist of breast cancer kind of “took over”, and directed our journey. As so often happens, this weekend I was reminded that life is happening at lightening speed all around me. A friend back east passed away after just being diagnosed with breast cancer…in January. When I got the news, I must be honest. It scared me…a lot. Another friend revealed she might have a different cancer. A 3rd friend is having some major health issues with her child. It took my breath away. But then I was guided via Twitter, to a blog posting of one of my best friends, T. Marie, entitled “The Joy of One Simple Breath”. (see This particular sista-friend I have known since high school. Same College, same Sorority. She has provided me with so much over the years. This weekend was no different. She doesn’t even know her words affected me. It was, and is, exactly what I needed to read. In part, it said…

“Remember to breathe today. Use the joyous life cycle of one deep, conscious breath to return to the present moment; the space where Spirit dwells and your divine and creative power thrives. When in doubt (or fear, or confusion, or anger, or unforgiveness, or pain, or hate, or judgment or [insert constricting, limiting thought or emotion here]), stop and take a breath!”

So, I have 3 more treatments to go. “Life” is still happening all around me. I may be “burnt up”, praying for others’ strength, and taking care of a sick 9 year old.

But I will remember to…Breathe!

 Read the full post at “Breathe” at, follow her blog, educate yourself on breast cancer and join our quest for the cure!