When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Well, Crap.

Dr. King's daughter died. Thanks to my Friday Night Date, I not only knew who she was, I got to meet her. And now she's gone away. At only 51!!

And this I find on the heels of getting an explanation about a co-worker's continuing struggle with cancer. I blogged about this co-worker before, and now I've learned she's back in chemotherapy 3x's a week.

The woman's going to die. I believe she's said enough to me to indicate that she knows it, and now her co-worker is confidentially spilling the details that she herself won't speak about (I guess he sees me as her boss, since she's in my dept. and I'm the Asst. Director).

And we just keep going through these things in life. We broaden our social circles and reach out for the friendship love of good people, in an effort to grow our humanity, and something like this happens.

I don't want this woman to die. She has highschool-aged children, and a husband. She's being strong for everybody, but what happens in her home when she's gone? What happens at this job?

I saw "The Family Stone" over the Christmas holiday when George put me up in his timeshare in NYC. SPOILER. The audience is told the about the mother's illness in one powerful scene as she confronts her adult son on the choice he's making to marry an unliked girl. She says, "What are you doing?" Tears fill the son's eyes. Then she says, "Are you marrying this girl for me?" The son's mouth gapes with grief. "Getting married is not going to change my illness. You have to stop this and get a girl you actually love." By this time the son is wracked and shaking with wordless sobs.

I paraphrased the mother (played by Diane Keaton)'s words, but that was the jist. I don't know why I didn't blog about it then. I'll never forget it. The actor was the same guy who played Julia Roberts' best friend in "My Best Friend's Wedding." How that actor was able to break down like that was heart-numbing. Oh, and don't think I didn't have a good sob right along with.

So what's going to happen now? And where's my guarantee that this won't happen again? How do I know that Scott, or Alex, or Steve, or Eliel, or My Friend The Doctor, or (oh God please forbid) My Hero won't someday come home with "dreadful news"? How are we expected to survive in the screaming absence of people we love?

It's not fair damn it.

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