17.5.10

With Affection

A man I know and like very much is losing a battle with cancer.

He is the step-father of my ex-boyfriend.  One night, we were alone together while his wife and my boyfriend were out at a family function.  Hank (that's his name) had just had back surgery and I stayed with him in case he needed help with anything.  

It was the only time we were ever alone for more than about five minutes.  He told me without hesitation that he thought I was unhappy with his step-son.  And I burst into tears.  But we had a long conversation that I know he will keep to himself to the end of his (now seemingly numbered) days in which he told me not to worry about doing what I needed to do to be happy.  That acting out of sincerity, regardless of the immediate consequence (like breaking a heart), was the only course for life.  It was one of the greatest acts of compassion I've ever experienced because he said the thing I had been afraid to say, but that I needed to admit, so that I could get on with my life.

Because of that conversation, I did break off that relationship.  And because I broke off that relationship, I have never seen Hank again.  And it would be inappropriate (for many reasons) for me to contact him now.  And, in truth, Hank and I both knew that that conversation was our goodbye.  I am sad, though, to know that he is losing his fight.  And because of the kind of person he is, he will not overstay his welcome here on earth.  From what I understand, he's come to the point where he's ready to go.

I'm sure his family will have a party to honor his life.  I can only do it here.  So, Hank, I thank you with most sincere affection for the help you gave me.  You've always brightened your corner of the world with your kindness.  My life would definitely have been harder without you.

2 comments:

Kristie said...

Nicely said my friend!

Dorothy said...

Thanks.