Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Living each day

I have a friend from our Men's Group at church who has had brain cancer for about two years, and is now at home under Hospice Care. Actually this week he's in a nursing home because his wife had to go and be with her mother. Ken and I have known each other almost 20 years, and for many years a group of men would go up to his cabin in the mountains for a 3 day winter retreat. We'd sing, play cards, drink beer, cook, hike in the moonlight. Lots of good times and memories.

When I go and visit Ken, it's hard sometimes to know what to say or how to be. Some days he can think clearly and some days it is harder for him to be coherent. A few weeks ago we were playing a game or two of cribbage to pass the time, but the last few visits he hasn't been able to do this. Several months back, he shared with me that he feels he has lived a full life, and has no regrets. More recently, he has wondered about how much longer he should hang on. It's hard to know how to respond. I try to empathize, and I try to listen. I ask a few questions now and then, but mostly, I just spend time with him, and ty to help him pass the time.

A few days ago, when I left, Ken said to me "I love you" and I replied back "I love you too, Buddy". That was a pretty incredible moment for me. I realized there are very few adult men in my life that I have said that too. But it felt good, and I thank Ken for breaking the ice.

It's powerful business, this living and dying stuff. Kens' situation makes me appreciate all the more the blessings in my life, and most of all, my family.


At 7:34 PM, Blogger Nate said...

I didn't know that about Ken - that makes me really sad to hear. He's a good guy, I remember the youth group stayed at his cabin once and I remember playing volleyball with him at Buckhorn... (unless that's wrong? I think I have the right guy in mind)

Sorry to hear. I hate updating our blog with house crap when you and Steve have actual "there's a real world out there" posts like these.

At 8:19 PM, Blogger Rick said...

Hey Nator - I love your posts about your house!! So, don't stop doing that. It's all good.

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