Sunday, March 23, 2014

Day One

I don't even know how to start with this.  Well, best to start from this morning.  George, a dear military friend of mine, said his good-byes after visiting for the week, and as I reached over to the phone to check the time, I saw a letter from my friend David.  I really hate the term "ex-boyfriend" because it just sounds so harsh, but I have yet to learn of another way to describe someone you loved so deeply at one point, and yet no longer have that life with anymore.  Of course I still have feelings of love of him, I think everyone always has a bit of love in their hearts for those who have influenced them in an intimate and meaningful way.  But, it's different now.  I now get it when I learned in my humanities classes the different forms of Greek love... Agape, Eros, Philia.  For, what I now feel for David is a friendship type of love.

So, the email was a bit of a surprise, since I hadn't heard from him for many o' months.  Honestly, while George was up here he mentioned that he hadn't seen David for a long while at the branch, so that was a bit concerning for me, especially since working in the ED for so many years, you can't help but think of worst case scenarios.

So I looked at the phone to read the subject line, "You should probably sit down before reading this."  I had seen that similar expression before with a few of my girlfriends, to which they followed with "I'm getting married!"  So naturally, I thought this was David emailing to say he'd got engaged.


Quite the opposite, actually.  He's been diagnosed with a form of leukemia and will return home from Korea this week (as he is currently deployed there) to receive chemotherapy and additional treatments.  Don't know the prognosis yet.  We chatted via Gmail later in the day, and it was so hard to keep the conversation light; I tried my hardest not to bombard with a gazillion questions, but really, I have a habit of getting directly to the point.  I knew that that's what he was trying to do, to keep it light, but it was a bit of a struggle to kid around and still process the news.

I'm trying to find the points of gratitude in all this, and honestly it's a bit of a struggle.  But I am grateful to see he is still alive and did not die while combat.  I'm grateful he is coming back to the US to Walter Reed, and will be much closer to his parents.  I'm grateful that I have friends at the U that hopefully will be able to tell me more so that I can pass that information along to him.  And I'm grateful for the strength that can be found beyond ourselves during times of devastating crisis.

And those are my gratitudes for the day.  Day One.

I think a good walk is in order at this moment.

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