Em

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Deep breath.

I talked to Em on the phone a bit ago. It sounds like her mom is very sick. Dying, probably. And there is nothing I can say about that that will make it any better. I wish I could, but I can't. Still, I thought I'd call and at least let her know I am thinking about her and I am here if she wants or needs to talk. Now that I'm off the phone, of course, I can think of a few things I wish I had said. Something about how it feels to watch someone you love die of cancer, and I know that, because I have seen it a couple of times now. Something about how even though I've seen it, I can't imagine it happening to my mother. Something about how my mom is the single most important person who will ever be in my life and I can't even fucking comprehend anything like this happening to her.

But perhaps it is better that I did not say any of those things. Instead, I asked questions about the prognosis, about the trajectory of events. I think I did that because sometimes talking about things makes it easier--going over the details is something you can sort of control, you can speak about it calm, measured terms. It's easier than how you feel, it's easier than what you are afraid of.

I don't know, though. Maybe I shouldn't have called at all. I really have no idea. I know there is no way I can help.

Crying, now, for Em and her mom. And for Papa Gene, who I still miss, though I wasn't old enough to understand I was saying goodbye to him when I was. And for Grandpa Davie, to whom I was old enough to say goodbye, and that doesn't make me miss him any less.

I am so glad that Em has her God. I don't know how helpful He(he? she?) is in all this, but I think this kind of situation is one of the best arguments for keeping the faith.

I wish I had some faith I could keep with her. I wish I could pray so I could pray for her. But I can't, so I guess I'll just keep writing.

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April 2012

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