Monday, December 20, 2004

Goodbye Friend

Today I hugged a friend good-bye and told him how much I love him. He is in the end stages of cancer and I may not see him again. I told him I have always loved him.

He is a wonderful person – fairly young – with a beautiful young wife and three children. It is hard to believe that I will never see his eyes again – such an unusual color. His children have eyes of the same color.

He is from Belize and has a great complexion and accent. The complexion has changed with his illness, and he barely resembles the person I knew, but his voice is that of my same beloved friend. I have known him since I came to California; we have sold at many flea markets together. One time, years ago, I admired a Venetian glass necklace that he was selling. He gave it to me at a later date as a gift, admonishing me to keep it for myself. I still have this necklace, and I’ll treasure it.

“I didn’t dodge the bullet, this time, old friend,” he said as we held each other.

It is hard for me to remember the things we said to each other while discussing the progression of the cancer. At first he had diabetes, then lost his kidneys and liver. He hates the morphine, because it makes him sleep and he doesn’t want to sleep. I had just been informed a few days before that he was ill. I had seen him in the distance a few weeks before that, but it was not mentioned by anyone.

I had a very difficult time keeping from totally breaking down in front of him, and also his wife, with just a few tears escaping. They are both so brave. We discussed his cancer openly, the pain he is in, its effect on the children. I don’t know if he will make it through Christmas.

(I wrote this last night after I saw him, but did not post it.)


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