I couldn’t get to the phone as I was washing the dishes, so I checked it afterward.  There wasn’t a message, so I checked my mobile.  Nothing there either.  I thought it was J. as he was thinking of coming over and going out today.  When I saw the number, I knew.  I knew.  I fucking knew it.

In my dumb, panicky, un-caffeinated state, I put a message up on Twitter asking about term breaks for younger kids in England! Idiot.  School has just started!

My friend R. is back home from London.  Quite obviously from the above, he is a teacher.  What I knew? His father is dying.

It probably shouldn’t come as too much of a shock, as he has a brain tumour.  Quite obviously(?) malignant.  A few rounds of chemotherapy, but no surgery.

R. and I talked for a while.  No one knows exactly when he’s going to die but “they’re keeping him comfortable.”  I think everyone knows what that means.  Also, the immediate rush to get R. home, plus his sister, who lives in another province.

Not that he knows the proper term, but R. is dissociating like hell! I could tell straight away by his voice alone! Then he told me he was, “just sort of floating back and forth a bit.”  I definitely know what that means!

I kept reminding him I was here for him, my schedule was extremely flexible as I still wasn’t working so CALL ME!!! He was completely and utterly disinterested! All he said was: “I’ll keep you posted.”  Jesus Christ! I told him back that I’d be keeping an eye on him!

Over the years I became part of their family.  I have the same name as his sister, so when I would go over for Sunday dinners (both when he still lived here and when he would come home from the US, the UK) I would joke, “I was the Surrogate <insert name>.”

I have already begun my mourning.  I am shaking at the moment and I have been bawling like crazy.  I need to do this, anyway.  I fear if he’s dissociating this much right now, and not as “here” as I think he is, I may need to catch him when he falls.  There will be more of us around him, of course.  Nonetheless, he’s probably going to need everything he can get.


  1. May

    I’m so sorry to hear about your bad news…. Sending you loving thoughts – feel free to e-mail me if you want?…


  2. Hi May. Thank you. After crying so much, still sitting outside drinking loads of tea, I managed to channel some of that energy into a poem that I will give to R. and his family–as shitty as it is.

    Later? You would not believe. *shakes head* Everyone’s life is falling apart.

    It still doesn’t detract from the post that I was going to write earlier, but wow.

    There is A LOT of pain going on around me. This entire day has been NOTHING but pain!


  3. licoriceroot

    I hope he knows how lucky he is to have such a wonderful, caring friend. I am so sorry about his father, but I am touched by your waiting in the wings to be there for him when he needs you.


  4. Hi licoriceroot. Thank you so much. Well, as far as I see it, your friends are your friends. What else am I, or should I, or… supposed to do, right?

    And there is also his family. Well, especially his mother. The woman is just amazing and has always offered me support or help whenever I’ve needed it.

    Thanks again, hon.

    Oh, and uh…May? Erm…I’ve been away from my blog for a bit. Not sure if you’ve got a feed running to this for future comments. It sounds like I’m screaming at you!

    Well, maybe screaming for a moment at the entire world, but not you! I’m going to put something up now just to explain said “scream-i-ness.” I’ll also let you know apart from this here.


  5. licoriceroot

    Scream-i-ness doesn’t offend me at all. Go ahead and scream. We all need that sometimes.
    As for my comment, I was simply commenting on how wonderful it is that you reach out to others in spite of going through your own troubles. I think it’s an example we should all follow.
    :) CB


  6. May

    No worries, sweetheart. I didn’t feel screamed at


  7. Hi licoriceroot. Well, I’m not a “screamy” person. Not at all! As per the post I just put up, well, it explains why I got a bit riled.

    EDIT: I could be wrong. See further comment to May.

    Thank you so much again for saying the rest, as well. To me, it’s just “natural” I guess you could say? I’ll certainly avoid the world normal. I don’t care for that one at all. But, yes. It’s just sort of me? I don’t really think about it, I suppose. I just do it, I guess?

    Hi May. Thanks. Just checking as again, I’m not a screamy person. Well, I don’t think so. Although, maybe I’ve had some moments where I’ve been very, very emotionally charged and it comes off like that.

    That’s probably why I always check with people. I worry that what I say sometimes can come off as hurtful, mean and things like that. It upsets me so I like to rectify it immediately. I fear it may have upset the other person, too.


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