Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Other Things I Can't Imagine

One of Ron's friends is dying. Of cancer. After battling it with some success over the last few years, it's now spread to the point where even experimental treatments aren't worth trying. I can't imagine that. I can't imagine getting to the point where doctors tell you there aren't any options left.

I can't decide if knowing that you're going to die young is more or less cruel than if you were to die suddenly. On one hand you get to plan, say the long goodbye, do the things you want to do. On the other hand, I'm not sure how you resist the urge to curl up into a ball and just give up.

This particular friend spent some years married to a woman none of the other friends like, mostly because she didn't "allow" him to see his friends. And so, for nearly a decade , Ron lost touch with him. Then he divorced, found someone new and decided to remarry. The new wife encouraged him to resume contact with all his friends. Ron was in his wedding. They seem perfectly happy and his wife seems very nice. They had a son some months before we had Rolo.

Then came the cancer diagnosis.

I can't help but think about his wife. She's younger than I and faced with the certainty of becoming a widow soon. How do you deal with that? The burden of having to remain strong for your son's sake? How do you plan for the last Christmas you'll spend as a family?

This is the second of Ron's friends who will pass away in as many years. Not from suicide or drug overdoses, but from actual medical conditions. Ron is, as much as Ron will allow for such things, heavy-hearted these days. Ron is only 6 years older than myself. I didn't expect we'd start losing people this soon.

So I worry about Ron in a way I didn't several years ago: what he's eating, whether he's exercising, whether his blood pressure is high. He's becoming the stereotypical (and ironic) cardiologist: the overweight guy who eats cheese steaks. He is not old--he might be the youngest 40 year old I've ever known. But he's not young either and we can't pretend that lifestyle choices won't impact his health. And mine.

I know that we need to take better care of ourselves, because it's not just about us anymore. And I know when I getting all stressed out about money, or work, or another baby...I need to remind myself of Ron's friend and his wife. There are people who would trade places with me in a hot minute.

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1 Comments:

At 4:17 AM, Blogger leontinecolombo said...

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