Unrelated to the person I was referring to in my last Facebook update, I just received news that a friend of Josh's and mine is sick. He is 27 - just a few months older than I am. He has a wife and two young kids. And he also has Stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Although he has not yet lost the battle, the inevitable is not far off according to his doctors.
The worst part of it all for me is that we didn't even know he was sick; we haven't talked much since we moved out of Washington 2 years ago. Not out of anger or apathy - just general distance and moderate forgetfulness.
It makes my heart hurt. It makes me question what cannot be answered. I ache for his family, our friends, and for those two little boys who will only have dim memories of their father. They will have to rely on anecdotes from family and friends, and will have to finger through faded old photographs tucked away in family albums.
Despite my own issues of what I am going through, all I can think of is, "Can't I take on some of his problems, to relieve him of this? I don't have children depending on me...he does. Why was he picked? Why him and not me?"
I'm not expecting a response, because my questions have no obvious answers. I also don't want pity. What I do want may seem campy and trite, but please try.
If you're reading this (most likely those that have wandered from the link on my Facebook page), I love you and care about you. We may not talk daily, we may not have seen each other in years (literally), and in a handful of cases, we may never have formally met (because we are friends through friends). But my heart is with yours, and despite any distance, no one is ever completely out of my thoughts.
I ask that you cherish what you have with others. If you're on the outs with someone, attempt to mend it. Dote on your family and friends. And if you have kids, remember...there's no such thing as spoiling them with too much love.
The most heartbreaking phrase in the human language is not "what if" but rather "if only".
Don't wait until it's too late.
Don't be an "if only".