Wednesday, June 10, 2009

To Jay with Love

Back to Ireland soon, but first, I would like all the folks out there who know Jay Lake to send healing thoughts his way.  Jay received bad news regarding his cancer.  He faces what many people in America face silently, privately, for many reasons including not wanting their friends to treat them like the walking dead (or to avoid them for fear of being uncomfortable or saying the wrong thing.)  

The very sick are often isolated.  Jay has chosen to be public about his illness, hoping to teach us one aspect of what we as a society once knew when we had our loved ones with us through all stages of life.  I see it with births too, not just serious illness and death where people spend endless hours in hospital beds behind white curtains.  

I'm not any smarter in this regard than anyone else.  I want to learn how to relate to people better.

Jay often posts that if love could heal, he'd be the healthiest SOB in the world.  I hope knowing he's supported and loved will help.  I believe it can, maybe in surprising ways, but certainly in the obvious ones.  Fighting cancer takes willpower, courage, and every last shred of energy a person has (and some they don't.)  Family, friends and community are essential to keep going.  Think of a sporting event you've participated in.  Ever had a teammate urge you on?  Come on, just a little farther, you can do this.  I know you.  You're strong enough.  You're smart enough.  

There's a time when all we have, and all our friends have and family has, isn't enough.  There's no reason to believe that Jay faces one of those times.  It's time to cheer him on, to rally, to lend him strength where and when we can, not because he's dying, but because he's fighting for his life.

If you have an ailing friend or relative, or if someone you know is a new parent, consider calling or writing a letter, right now.  A few minutes of your time may help them through the next stretch.  

Incidentally, I know this would never occur to most of you but I've heard of it happening--people who offer help, but don't follow through.  If you know you have a habit of procrastinating or forgetting, then think twice before making a promise, even if you honestly mean to deliver.   This is a situation where 'it's the thought that counts' gets into iffy territory.  You don't know when your promise might be someone's last lifeline and they might be waiting for you by the door or next to the phone, waiting for you to do what you promised you would, be it making a phone call, a casserole, or arranging for music therapy.  

Stuff to think about.  If you want to learn, check out Jay's posts.  Click on the cancer tag if you dare, and follow along.  If you're inspired, offer a helpful comment.  It may make a difference.

non sequitur of the day:  back up your computer!


jaylake said...

Thank you.

Kami said...

You're more than welcome.