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June 23, 2022: Timothy

A few weeks ago, I got news from my good friend Timothy that he had bladder cancer. Tonight, I got an email message from him saying that he’s having his native friends from Bethel coming for a visit – he wants to enjoy their company while he is well enough. He added that the radiation will knock things back but not cure his cancer.

I met Timothy at the Palmer Senior Center. He’s tall, has a slightly disheveled appearance. Also, he had a bandage over his nose, for, he said, a sinus condition.

Heartperson and Heartdog

He could not wear a mask when Covid was going on because breathing was difficult. He said he wanted books on music. I was not able to pass anything on because he stopped coming to the Senior Center. A few weeks after I last saw him, I got a note that was from him was on the Vagabond Blues bookcase. It said, “thank you for the Bach Cantata.” I didn’t know I’d left it there.

I found out sometime later – I think I ran into him, and he told me. He liked hard to read music. I found him some other things. He lived in Bethel for some time – he strongly identified with the Native people. Most recently, he’s given two teenagers an assist, spending time with them, taking them places.

What I like most about Timothy is that he has a very big heart.

Pete, Bill, and I took him out to dinner to celebrate Bill’s having completed and installing the Turkey Red bookcase. Then and now, he reminds me of the Dali Lama, particularly the way he laughs.

I am shocked by his email message. I have, in my head, committed myself to giving him an assist in the months to come. I can run errands, and if need be, provide him with good food. This is going to be tough – I undoubtedly will see this good friend of mine deteriorate. No one, it seems, should have to suffer like this. Our neighbor Jim, he didn’t suffer. He went quick – was found just a short time after he died.

I would like to think that Timothy doesn’t believe that he’s going to die – to be able to see what’s ahead is the worst part of the deal. Those who suffer from dementia might know at first what’s going on, but as the disease progresses, they become less aware of this. The ones who remain aware are their loved ones.

Sorry, but death really sucks. It’s too bad that when our time comes that we don’t levitate, with the knowledge that we are going someplace really fun – someplace where we can again experience the child like wonder that we lost when we became adults.

I don’t know what kind of support network Timothy has here. I guess this is the first thing I need to find out. It is a good sign, that’s he’s reaching out to his Bethel people. I’m already bracing myself for what’s ahead.

Next: 171. 6/24/22: Roe Versus Wade

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