Word is getting out. I’m pretty weird about sharing personal details with the general public (which is why this weblog has been dry for the past 16 years) but people are hearing on the grapevine that Something Is Wrong and we’ve been getting notes and beer and food left quietly on the doorstep from friends–something that’s extremely appreciated and humbling.
My friend Brian had his house burn down a few months ago, and afterward he talked to me about how people he barely knew were coming out of nowhere with offers of help, clothes, food, support, and money. He and his wife were overwhelmed and he said that it was hard to accept aid and comfort from people; he didn’t know how to do it and felt awkward about welcoming that generosity into his life. I can understand that, being a fiercely independent person–I want to do things for myself, and I hate asking for help.
This situation calls for a completely different mindset, because we’re going to have to lean on everyone we know to get through the next four months. I’m no better at asking for help than I was yesterday, but I’ve got a small pile of letters on my desk from friends offering support that will get a return letter of thanks to try and show my appreciation for that kindness.
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That being said, it’s still abstract to me. I’m still thinking like I’ve got another 45 years left, when I’m supposed to be thinking in terms of 5 years. I’ve purposefully stayed away from reading about it on the internet, because the internet is built to scare the shit out of you, and I’d rather listen to the doctors I’m entrusting with my care, who have medical training and experience to answer my questions, not horror stories and half-truths. Because I’ve always operated as if I was going to live to 90, I’m having to refactor every long-term plan I’ve been working on: career, fatherhood, travel, retirement. They are now set to a ticking clock that I can’t see, and the sound just got a lot louder in the back of my head.
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I’ve been pretty lousy about writing here in the past couple of months, but I realize now I’ve got to make up for some spare time. There’s a new category called cancer that will be the catch-all for disease-related ramblings, but I’m going to try to focus more on focused writing at least once a day. We’ll see how it goes.