Monday, January 23, 2012

Whirlwind Sadness Tour

Today is going to be a crazy day- last week, one of mom's oldest friends from her Bronxtucket stomping grounds died from chemotherapy complications. He'd been suffering from inoperable cancer for a long time, and his chemo regime wreaked havoc on him. Mom is leaving Virginia tomorrow morning, driving to Yonkers, where we'll rendezvous, and drive together to the Catskills area for the wake. After the wake, we'll drive back to my place, where she'll stay overnight, then she'll wake at the crack of dawn to drive back to Virginia, so she can fly out to Colorado to visit my brother Gomez and his family, and my brother Vincenzo's family (Vin's in the greater Kandahar metropolitan area right now). She'd booked her flight a few months ago, and changing it would have been a major boondoggle. I'm sure she'll be glad of the opportunity to get the hell out of Dodge for a couple of days.

In other horrible news, an old grammar school friend of mine recently called to tell me that his mother had terminal esophageal cancer. She decided to forgo chemotherapy, and will be receiving hospice care in her home. She traveled extensively in her youth, and she saw her children marry well and start to raise kids of her own, so she decided (with her characteristic Yorkshire stiff upper lip) that she didn't want to buy a few more weeks at the expense of her quality of life. Her door was always open, so I'll be sure to visit her when she needs support.

It's been a heavy couple of days... gotta put the brave face on. The snark will resume sometime soon- it's my primary coping mechanism.

UPDATE: Thanks for the outpouring of support, people. I am privileged to have you in my online circle of friends. Mom and I drove upstate in a heavy fog, and a constant drizzle. The wake was really something... my mom's friend John had retired from the NYPD with a 75% disability pension after being involved in a bad motorcyle accident while on duty. About thirty years ago, he had an opportunity to buy a lumberyard upstate, and he quickly became a pillar of the community of Cairo, New York. I had total strangers coming up to me (I seem to be the sort of type that people approach to shoot the breeze with) and telling me about how had been a great person to deal with- honest, generous, and compassionate. The local contractors all told about how he'd assist them when business was tough, how his handshake was as good as a contract. One woman told me about how she'd had a run of trouble, and John was able to help her out so she could turn her life around. It's a horrible irony that a guy without a bad bone in his body would succumb to bone cancer.


Laura said...

That is a tough time! So sorry to hear about your Mum's friend and your friends Mother.
It's never easy to lose people. :(

That's nice that your Mum is taking so time to spend with the family. Your sister lives near her, right? I'm sure she'll enjoy herself and be glad of the distraction.

Drive carefully!! :)


TruculentandUnreliable said...

Dude. That sucks. I'm sorry to hear that.

Hang in there.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

My condolences to you and yours, B^4.

Vonnie said...

I am sad for you, all the way around.
Hang in there.
Hugging you from afar.
(the people at work think I'm weird, as I just faced east and threw my arms open wide. Oh well)
You are in my thoughts.

Hamish Mack said...

Yeah, tough stuff BBBB. Thinking of you

shrink on the couch said...

Strength to your loved ones. I particularly admire your friend who will forgo chemo. Very brave.

Nomi said...

Sending Hugs & Solidarity...

I dream of a world where caregivers are appreciated and given all tools & tickets required, so our good byes could take creative shapes....

I am so grateful for the time I spent with my friend Rhett in his last weeks.

Helmut Monotreme said...

I hope your goodbyes go well in your time to comfort the afflicted. Remember to do some stuff for yourself too.

Dr.KennethNoisewater said...

I'm really sorry about your friend's mother.

You've gotten way too much bad news in the past year or so. Too much death, too much illness. Isn't time you and yours got a break?

Jennifer said...

Hugs for everyone.

Substance McGravitas said...

Good luck.

Smut Clyde said...

My primary coping mechanism looks like this.

fish said...

Smut is banned.

Ugh (not Uggs). Sorry to hear.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I don't know what to say, other than sympathy.

Do you need another kitty sketch?

Laura said...

I had a rant all typed up about you still being gone but I've "backspaced" it. I know that it's just "The PMS" so, I won't post it.

Besides, while I was typing it, I got a comment on my blog from Randal Graves that has my blood boiling so, I think I'll go take a strip off of him instead.



Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Thanks for the outpouring of support, folks! It means a lot.