A good friend of mine, actually more family to me than my own extended family, texted me last night that he was going in for emergency surgery today to remove a tumor. I heard from him this afternoon. As they feared, it's cancer. It's been there for awhile. They don't know if they got it all. Not good news.
My stepmother was diagnosed with bone cancer two months ago. She's undergoing treatment. Too early to call it yet. Obviously, that's taken a lot of my attention.
I didn't mention it here, because it felt like if I didn't write it, it would be less true. If anything happens to her, my Dad would follow shortly. She's 10 years younger than my Dad,so she and everyone else assumed he'd go first. He doesn't "do" life. She tells him what to do, and he happily does it. They really love each other. Works for them.
My sister is there now for a few weeks, helping out. I'll be going up too in the coming months.
So it was quite a blow to hear M has cancer too. I keep remembering him as a little kid and teenager. He's exactly one month younger than me. I don't remember not knowing him. I have thousands of memories.
If he needs me, I'll go and do what I can for him. He'd do the same for me.
It's what I've been talking about, building my tribe of like-minded people. I called my other "friend" after I pulled myself together from talking to my crying Dad when he broke the news about my stepmom. I left a VM with the news saying, "Hey, got some bad news, I'm fine, just wanted to hear a familiar voice. Call me back"
He didn't call back. He texted me that he was sorry to hear about my stepmother, and told me I should rent my apartment out on AirBnB when I went up there. He wouldn't even bestir himself to pick up the phone. He lives 15 miles away.
I gave him one more chance after that to behave with the modicum of decency I know he's capable of (he's actually capale of great kindness and decency. He just prefers not to bring that into his persona these days.) I called to see how he was. He's going through a hard time (that he brought on himself). He responded with an insulting text wishing me luck with my "personal struggles."
That's when I'd finally had enough. Done. Done. Done. Done. Fuck you, G. Seek help. Call me when they take off the straight-jacket. Which they'll need, as he believes literally everyone else is the problem. Right.
You know what though? I had a great day. I can't make my loved ones well, but I can treat the ones around me with love and respect. We had fun. And laughed. And loved joyfully, even in our small way.
That's my kind of tribe.