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Wellington, New Zealand
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Sunday, May 16, 2010

i'm not here today

i'm here

the lovely angie over @ seven clown circus asked me to guest post, but if you're all clicked out, i'll save you the trouble...



WEDNESDAYS WITH KEN

when angie asked if i wanted write a guest post, i knew exactly what i would write about.

in a way angie inspired this post
but then again maybe it was fear
cancer,  definitely
...and friendship too

angie wrote this post back in february of this year.  she had run into a friend she had known growing up who was dying of cancer, but didnt say anything when she saw her.  angie was deeply upset by the way she handled the situation, so went home and wrote her friend a letter.

at the time, i felt like that post from angie was written just for me.


this is ken

two days after i took this photo, ken died.  it may well have been the last photo of him.  i don't know.  all i know is that i'm glad i have it.

he had been sick for a while, but almost a month before this photo was taken (to the day), ken was given one month to live.  when i found out, i was literally paralyzed with fear.  i wanted to do something, but what?

i couldn't pick up the phone (too intrusive)  i couldn't email (too impersonal).  so i wrote him a letter.

i wrote of all the things about him that make me smile.  i said that my letter was his invitation to call me, because i simply didn't know what to do (or how to do it).

the next day he called.  he said he was so very touched by my letter and that he wanted me to come visit.

during his treatment he had developed a sweet tooth, with a penchant for anything lime and peppermint - so on wednesdays while my girls were at their singing lessons, i visited.

the first week i came with peppermint slice.

the next week i brought lime mousse

the following week i brought lime jelly.  he never ate that jelly, but i did get this pic.  that's the tip of his thumb you can see at the bottom of the shot giving the thumbs up.


during his funeral i discovered that as well as being a pioneer in software sales back in the 80s (ie, he was ahead of his time), he was also an amateur boxer, had his helicopter pilot's licence, and was an equestrian 3-day eventer.

all this in addition to being an all-round funny guy, great friend and loving husband and father to his 2 daughters, who at 18 and 20 are now without their father.

my first thought when i think about the girls, is that he won't be able to walk them down the aisle, but it's not just the big occasions where he will be missed.

he will simply be missed.

those weekly visits meant more to me than he will ever know, and i'm so glad i overcame my fear and did something.  i had angie and her friend guiding me.  i had my friend bernice in my ear too.  a relative of hers had once said (regarding the same situation) - "whatever you do, just don't put it off".

wise words indeed.

10 comments:

JOh said...

What a terrific post Sue. What a wonderful relationship you created with Ken, I'm sure he looked forward to your visits. A truly generous gal! x

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post Sue. Thanks for sharing. I am tearing up so can't type anymore! Carmel

Jojomama said...

I loved this post. Thanks so much for sharing this.

cat said...

Oh Sue, what a post! I will certainly remember this.

Mark and Kiss said...

I just popped over from Angie's blog. Truly a lovely post Sue and a good reminder to all of us to be brave, speak up and act on our desires to do good. I love that you got pictures with him each week!

Sharon said...

Wow, thank you for this post Sue! I have found myself in that strange, awkward position before... not knowing what to say and then bumbling my way through it. What you (and Angie) did seems exactly right... you showed real love for your friend. I'm going to try to do this the next time!

Elizabeth said...

I've been the griever myself, and know how lonely it can feel when people don't reach out. I know it's because they don't know what to say. But my experience has been that you should say SOMETHING, even if the words are imperfect. I'd rather mess up by saying something than by keeping my mouth shut.

I love that you wrote Ken a letter telling him the things you loved about him. That's a great gift.

Krystyn said...

What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing.

Life with Kaishon said...

This post was very beautiful. What a blessing to read today. Thank you for sharing your heart. With us and with ken! : )

Elaine A. said...

Wow Sue, I'm so proud of you for doing it too. And Ken looks so happy in all of these pictures. It makes my heart just swell. I'm sorry for your loss...