Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me, Part 2

Wednesday night, Barb and I had dinner and then saw a play. She, of course, forgot my gift at home. She's done this in the past. I suspect that she hasn't chosen my gift yet, but never mind. I'm seeing her again in a couple weeks. At least this year she was on time. Barb is usually late ... very late. So that was a good sign.

We went to 312. I had the calamari/shrimp appetizer and lasagna for dinner. It was delicious. It was great to catch up, even though much of what she had to say left me sad.

Gooey and certain to not be part of the Thanksgiving menu.
 Her husband is suffering from Stage 3 lung cancer and is going through chemo. She teared up when she told me how one of the doctors warned him that only 25% of patients with his condition make it 5 years, that he can only count on "8 months to 2 years." And that was two months ago.

"He's not even an oncologist!" Barb raged. I asked her what the oncologists did say, and she replied that "they don't talk in those terms." Barb is aware that her husband is not going to be cured, but she says his medical team is devoted to "managing it."

Then she showed me the photos of her new home in Hilton Head. It's still under construction, but will be done early next year. She referred to the guest bedroom as my room, which was sweet of her, and made a point of showing me where my private bathroom will be.

I want to be happy for her. I mean to be happy for her. But as we went through her photos, two thoughts kept running through my mind:

1) I'm so bad with money! She's building a house and furnishing it to order -- complete with a private office,  a gallery room for her paintings and an area for a built-in wine rack -- and I can't afford to finish my own little tiny bathroom.

2) Her husband may not live to move to Hilton Head. He's already unable to fly down there with her to supervise the construction, and she's adding an elevator to the plans because he probably will never again be able to negotiate stairs without being left breathless. The man is dying, and she knows it. Will she really want to live there by herself? It's all unutterably sad.

The play we saw, Finding Neverland, was very appropriate for the night. A very glossy retelling of how Barrie came to write Peter Pan, there was little in it to make us sad. It made it nice that there were so many kids in the theater. Seeing children all duded up for a night out of live performance is always uplifting.

So it was a bittersweet birthday celebration. But I think every encounter with Barb from now on is going to be bittersweet, so I better get used to it.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad the play was distracting from the sadness of Barb's reality.