brief snapshots in time. memories and thoughts. disorganized and random.

Monday, July 11, 2005

hanging on

he was standing in his front yard when I pulled up. his dog was straining on her leash to see me. he says she's never as excited to see anyone as she is me. I'm not convinced that's true, but sweet of him to say.

he gave me a big lingering hug. neither one of us wanting to pull away. it'd been too long since we'd seen each other. I wasn't sure why.

I got the tour. it was his parents house, though they don't live there right now. he grew up there. he was staying in the in-law apartment until the closing on his new place went through. he showed me childhood pictures of him. and of his parents and brother and sister.

we talked for a long time. filled each other in on our lives for the past few months. although we'd talked a couple of times, we hadn't seen each other.

I had wondered why he'd been a little elusive about hanging out. he had thought about telling me why on occasion, but decided he didn't want me to worry.

he'd had a relapse. the cancer came back. he'd been doing chemo.

it is back in remission now. but it will eventually come back. he knows that. and he can only hope that it continues to respond to chemo or whatever medical science has come up with when it does.

I told him I wished he'd told me. he said he wished he had, too.

I felt incredibly close to him in that moment. sitting on his couch just hanging on to each other.

that's all we can do in life. hang on to other people. when we need to.

and hope that when we do need to, there's someone who will let us hang on, if only for a moment.


Kate said...

Wow, that's so sad. Good for you for being a friend.

Callie said...

Friends are the people who are willing to be there to laugh with you, cry with you, bring you back down to earth when your head's in the clouds, and pick you up when you fall. I'm so glad you were there to be a friend to this person.

There is a special place in my heart reserved for my true friends. I'm sure there is a special place for you in the hearts of many.

mountaindog said...

The only good thing about being around cancer (fighting or surviving) is that it has a way of making it painfully obvious what is important in life.

You, your family, your friends - that is what matters. Everything else is clutter.

I hope things work out for the best.

Yoda said...


Having seen a couple friends go through their fights with cancer, I can tell you that having someone they care for NOT know can be become an anchor for survival because they know you're thinking of them, and that you're thinking of them healthy. When everyone around them is thinking of their illness and death, it becomes important to have a little thing like a friend's reliance on the fact that they're simply somewhere in the world, living well.

There is healing power in that.


GlitterGlamGirl05 said...

OMG, that almost made me want to cry. Having had way too many close friends and family have brushes with cancer.

I know you will be there by his side through thick and thin and that's the best comfort you can give someone.

ramblin' girl said...

thanks, everyone.

Rainypete said...

I agree that it was probably an unconscious decision made my him to keep your friendship happy and light in the face of all the adversity.

It's not easy to have to go through something like that, and I can imageine everyone treating you liek you are sick and/or dying even if you aren't can be draining.

Stay positive and keep having fun is the best prescription of all.

Big B said...

Cancer close to me changed my life paradigm. Totally changed me, to seeing things as 'half full'. That's a glib cliche, but I firmly believe it. Real nice post RG.

kt said...


i lost my dad to cancer when i was 15, so my heart goes out to anyone who even knows what cancer looks like close up.

my thoughts are with your friend.

Keith said...

Thank you for your post! It reminds me I need to call my friend and old roommate.