Yesterday we stopped in to visit with Mr. L. We've known him since college (I knew who he was, but didn't know him personally-- he was a bit on the wild side) but really got to know him when he took a teaching job at our school. He was never what one would call conventional, and that held true inside the classroom as well. Three years ago he ended up as our middle school alt ed teacher, and life was really good.
Fast forward to last summer, when he was diagnosed with cancer. He's taken a leave of absence this year, and while we found a great replacement, we still miss our wild and crazy friend. He looked ok yesterday-- tired and a bit skinny, but still himself. It was good to just hang with him for a few hours; we're planning on stopping in after archery more regularly. In fact, I think it's time for a PSD reunion: we talk about it all the time but have never been able to pull it together.
It's been 3 years since we lost another teacher friend to this horrible disease, and 6 years since Devon. Life isn't fair, and sometimes we get thrown these curve balls that really do a lot of damage. I don't pretend to understand why, nor do I really want to. I want my friend to get better, now, and not have to suffer through the healing process. But Mick and Keith are right, and sometimes you don't get asked for your opinion. I don't like thinking about other ways this might end, but Mr. L never did leave the pink elephant sitting in the room alone. His philosophy is hard to think about, but I respect the guy immensely for living it. There are no guarantees in life but you can choose how you react to whatever gets thrown at you. He's choosing the optimist's approach, to ride it out to whatever conclusion follows. I feel pretty honored to be there for part of the ride.