A great friend of mine is in the hospital, very ill. Doctors say there is no hope of survival. But he doesn’t know this. Or at least I think he doesn’t .. or perhaps I hope he doesn’t. He has the tenacity of a pit bull.
“Come in Mark. Sit down. Bad timing. I’m in great pain. But sit down. Talk to me.” I’m shocked by what little remains of him. A skeleton draped in loose flesh. I try to initiate a conversation but he takes control. “They keep saying I’m getting worse but then I keep getting better. I think I’m confusing them. F–kers. I’m going home in two weeks. Remember when you took a picture of me with Syd and Michael? I need a copy of it … stat!”
That was almost two years ago. I barely remember taking the picture and pray that I can find it. I’m impressed with his memory, his clear thinking, his determination. But then later I wonder if he only sees me as the guy who took that picture. “You better go now. The pain is gonna take over. It ain’t pretty. See you tomorrow. And don’t forget the picture.”
I leave in admiration and humility. Praying I can find the picture. Sorry I hadn’t been a closer friend all these years. Trying to make up for it now in these last days … if they are the last days. If there is any way to make up for lost time.
I find the picture.