Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Heartbreaking Work Without a Shred of Genius

Over in St. Louis yesterday morning, one of my best friends lost her 18 year old son. Cancer prevailed in its second attack on his youthful body. He learned of his relapse after his first week of college this fall. His course of treatment since then has had its moments of optimism and pain and awful acceptance.

I've talked to his mother, my friend, only a couple times through it all. I've got nothing. She called me from an airport once between treatments, and I got her call while out fishing. It was a time of guarded optimism for them, and we chatted about the hospital in LA and how tough it was on her law practice, but she was soldiering on. The contrast in our situations crashed home to me, and the peaceful beauty of the trees and pond near sunset was all the more precious.

A couple weekends ago, I delivered Kansas City ribs to her home - her son never lost his appetite, and loved ribs. We sat in her kitchen for a few minutes and discussed politics and golf, and I left quickly to stay out of their hair. We barely mentioned David - he was asleep in the adjacent room, so we talked quietly.

There's absolutely nothing to do, beyond praying and enduring. She has family and closer friends - I play no role in helping her or her family. When we do talk, there's nothing to say, beyond "I'm sorry". Nothing will ease pain or make sense of it.

The little boy who sang with the cowboy guitar player at Devil's Pool has left this world. One of my favorite people in the world is wounded grievously, in ways I cannot even try to imagine.

I believe in the power of love and life, but this is a time and place when those powers seem puny and defeated.


Blogger Spyder said...

Prayers sent her way.

3/29/2008 1:30 PM  
Blogger craig said...

My prayers are with you also.

3/29/2008 4:32 PM  
Blogger Stephen Bough said...


There's no answer, but the shortest verse in the bible comes to mind - "Jesus wept."


3/30/2008 7:22 PM  

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