My friend is dying.
She’s not the kind of friend I would call on the phone.
She gets along great with my mom when she comes to visit.
She is wise and has given me advice that has helped me change the course of my life; She is someone I want to know better, but I’ve never quite figured out how to start that conversation.
She is small. As in height and stature, a slip of a woman with a strong jaw and a voice like Katherine Hepburn. She wears big hats, and for the longest time she had the most hair of anyone I knew.
After they shaved her head, I knew it was downhill.
Like Samson from Delilah, her mane was a big part of her identity. So when she lost that first battle and her hair came tumbling down, I knew it wouldn’t be long until her body followed.
Our mutual friends got married this weekend.
I sang with my band. We drank champagne, listened to their homegrown vows and danced to The Jackson 5.
It was like everything was normal…except there she was, giving a speech – no long mane, ashen skin, and only about 80 pounds of flesh and muscles wrapped tightly around a skeletal frame.
We could see she was dying.
What do you do with that?
How do you handle that?
What do you say?
The truth is, you don’t say anything.
And you wait.
And you wait.
And then you let it sink in.
And then you hurt.
And then you hold on.
And then you get busy living.