Sunday, May 4, 2014

No Good Words

my new kitchen island
When he heard I was working on my kitchen, my friend Ron offered to build my kitchen cabinets for me.  We've been friends for some 20-odd years.  He's helped me on projects before, and is the one who taught me how to sweat copper plumbing.

I was more than happy to accept his offer; I've seen his work before.  He got started on the cabinets last fall, before he and his wife went to Arizona for the winter.  He called me in late March, letting me know they were headed for Missouri.

I sent him a message a week or so later, letting him know my construction project is finally progressing, and to see how he was.  I didn't get a reply, which was unusual for him  I waited a week or so, then sent another message.  This time I got a reply that started:  Janice, this is Marilyn...

I knew it couldn't be good news and it wasn't.

Ron is dying of cancer.  I went down to his place to see him.  In just over a month, he's gone from healthy to a constant morphine drip.  He won't be alive much longer.

I am so glad I went.  He's not able to say much, and the drugs muddle his thinking, but we were able to talk some.  I told him this really sucks.  I let him know again that he will always be my hero.  I let him know I was grateful for his help and friendship over the years.  We gave each other a big hug, and cried on each other's shoulders.

But my words felt so inadequate.  What words should I have used to say goodbye when I knew it was likely to be the last time I will see him?  I still don't know.  I can only hope he understood the language of my tears.

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