I received a text from my good friend Jaime the other nite, that really shook me to my core... She said: "I just wanted you to know that Tony passed Saturday, we had a beautiful service for him today, he was cremated and he's at home now."
Tony was 34. They were boyfriend and girlfriend, co-habitants for as long as I've known her and he spent the last year and a half of his life fighting cancer all over his body. I texted back and forth for awhile, offering my prayers and love but what can you say to someone who's going through this? We spoke on the phone briefly yesterday and she sounded good, accepting, relieved and of course concerned, over her mom who's fighting breast cancer. I cannot imagine what she must be going through, and there's really nothing I can tangibly do, other than pray for her and her mom, and just be a good friend to her. This whole thing is an eye-opener for me.
Tony fought, Jamie's mom is fighting to survive cancer. Cancer victims fight hard to survive, they do anything they can to beat their disease and their families and friends rally around them. Alcoholism is a much different disease in some repsects. Oh yes, it's awful to behold, impossible for friends and family to stop it once it's taken hold. But worse yet, it tells it's victim that they don't need treatment, they are just fine, nothing's wrong, they can handle it. It requires it's victim to push help away rather than accept help. If you handed a cancer patient a Big Book and told them to go to a few meetings each week, hook up with someone you trust that you meet there, pray, read the book and do what it says, they would probably eat the damn book if they thought it would help. If you tell an alcoholic the same thing? They throw the book away and tell you you're out of your mind and go on about their business of self destruction.
I am just glad I grabbed hold of AA, like "the drowning man siezes a life preserver..." I wish I could transmit an arresting treatment to cancer patients, like I can share my recovery with alcoholics and addicts. I can at least be a good friend and pary. That much I can and will do.