Sunday, January 18, 2009

A FALLEN FRIEND

A few days ago a good friend lost his struggle with cancer. Watching him fight the unseen enemy was a heart breaking experience. People use the term fight; but in reality it is an uphill struggle to push back a blackness that is constantly trying to cover up life. The struggle is in trying to nourish the body with wholesome foods that will deliver the nutrients to the cells of the body to maintain strength, both physically and mentally, in order to push back the deadly malignancy that is attempting rob it of life. On one hand Perry would do his best to eat foods rich in nutrients. And at the same time he was being pumped full of chemo drugs that would be his main line of defense against the diabolical enemy. The war that raged within his body sickened him and presented him with challenges that I doubt any average person can comprehend; unless that person has fought a cancer war and won.
For awhile I visited him in the hospital, sometimes nightly. Then weekly. It was difficult to see my good friend weakened by his struggle. Each time as I headed toward the door to his room to leave; I would walk over to his bed and pick up his hand and lean close and tell him to "kick some cancer ass man." I said it low with a gruff growl voice. His eyes would flutter open and as he gently squeezed my hand, he would say "I am."
After a time he was able to go home. I felt good about this. I went over to see him at his sister's house one night on the motorcycle. He was half laying on a recliner against the wall of the room, eyes shut and breathing heavy. I was told he had had a bad day with the chemo. As I settled into a chair across the room I had a feeling that I can only describe as a "finality" about this whole affair. I looked over at him as his wife and sister were talking to me and I couldn't focus on their words. I caught enough of the conversation to be able to respond. But my real attention was on Perry. I stared at him and came to the personal realization that my suspicions were going to be proven true. The enemy was at the gates and the citadel would fall. I felt pressure behind my eyes and thought it best to leave. I arose and stepped over to his bed and picked his hand up. It was limp and lifeless; but moved enough to apply pressure to mine. His weary eyes opened and he looked strait at me. With a tear on my cheek; I said to him; "hang in there Perry." "I'll see you some other time my good friend." He said "I know" and squeezed my hand. I rushed out of the room with tears in my eyes; trying to keep my back to everyone. I knew Perry understood my meaning the way he squeezed my hand. I got on the bike and drove away. I never went back to see him. He understands. He knows.
He has joined his friends now; a host of other fallen hero's from another time. I am proud to have known him. I am a better person for it. I will never forget him and the friendship he has extended to me. "I'll see you some other time my good friend."