Saturday, December 15, 2007

Mittens don't help

If you look to the right and down, you'll see a column of thumbnails of important people in my life. One of those people is a little boy named Liam, my brother's son. The stuffed rabbit (named Bobby) was selected as Liam's thumbnail because for Liam, Bobby is the source of all rightness and joy in the world.

This is the part of the post where I get serious and weepy. Click away if you prefer me when I am not "like this."

I chose, in addition to identity obscuring photographs, psuedonyms for my important people. For my nephew, who is the light of my life, I chose the name "Liam." I did not do so thoughtlessly. My elder brother Buzz, who is as dear to me as his wife and son, has a very very best friend whose name is Liam.

There is a point. I am getting to it. Hang in there.

So Buzz called me today and said a bunch of stuff but he sounded all wrong. Finally, I asked him.

"What's wrong?" said I.

"Well things are not good here. I just heard from Lydia. Liam has a tumor on his pancreas."


"Yeah. He goes into surgery tomorrow morning. It looks really bad."

(this is the part where I have to pause and catch my breath because my brother, though only 40, has lost friends before. One to sickle cell anemia, one to cocaine, another to heroin, and yet another to... heroin.* To say that he has already caught is limit of sucky-untimely-death-luck is a major frikkin understatement. Notice that I have not yet mentioned our mother, dead at 52 and our currently terminal with leukemia father, 67. There is no expletive for how unfair this is, so I'll just move on).

"Wow. That's bad."

"Yeah. So anyway Lydia and Liam are at St. Luke's and I am going to try to get over there before I go home."

(this is the part where he has to catch his breath. He is emotionally level, in general, but LIAM??? That would be, for me, sort of like Lola getting cancer. Attention universe: NO, THANK YOU).

I asked my brother what I could do. He said nothing. Yeah, nothing. He's pretty much right, and that hurts because damn, it would be nice if a pair of mittens or a nice hat would change anything.

Readers of the praying sort: please mention in your communications with your almighty that my brother needs Liam and that my brother is WAY down on the list of people who do. Mention also that Lydia needs Liam and that cancer is just not appreciated. But thanks for the spiritual challenge if... whatever... thy will be done. Etc.

Readers of all sorts: please call, email, look at the faces of the people you love and tell them you love them. Tell the people that make your life good about how wrong your life would be without them. It doesn't matter if you already do this all the time and you feel like a cheeser. I crack a lot of jokes about love being all that matters, but I am mostly not joking. It is, really, truly, actually, all that matters.

*** No word yet from Maggie, mitten target one. Will post the moment I hear from her.***

* My brother spent his twenties playing drums in a rock band. They did great until their singer died of a heroin overdose.


Maggie said...

Prayers are with Liam, and Buzz, and you.

Mittens update for those who do not have access to Nina's e-mail account:

Went to library drop right before closing, they told me that reading rooms are north-south, not east-west. Then they kicked me out.

Nina has promised to come to Boston and bodily put the mittens on my hands if I fail a third time to find them. My dinner companions and I are very excited about her pinky-swear tendencies.

Heading back to library as soon as it opens tomorrow. Will update tomorrow pm, promise.

This would also be much easier if I understood Twitter better, but alas, technology is hard! (fortunately, one dinner-friend has Blackberry to loan me.) Maybe tonight I will learn more, as there will be many many Twitterers at skeeball party. I will ask them.

Now am off to Times Square skeeball, if anyone wants to see my bare hands or new haircut.

P said...

I'll pray. I don't know if it will work since I'm not sure if God loves me anymore due to several bad behavior incidents, but it's worth a try because cancer is scary and terrible and we all have to do whatever we can.

Now *I've* gone all ALOL n' styles. Nina - can I get back to you Monday morning about the tribal gift-giving ceremony? Not sure if the little thing will withstand bad weather. I think you need a present. FAST.

LAS said...

I will pray for all of you! I believe in miracles you know - I really do. I've seen and experienced them. I wish there were something I could do or say, but there aren't words for this. I'll be praying.

em said...

How sad that your brother has lost so many people he cares about. I hope for the best outcome for all of them.

Nina said...

P, Gosh I know how you feel regarding the God thing. I do not do the intercessory prayer thing myself because - well - it would be a whole post to explain. Let's just say "thank you" prayers are all I can do, which is why I ask other people to send up these kinds of flares.

LAS, I believe in miracles, too. My dad is an excellent example. Thank you for your prayers.

Em, thanks. Real Life Liam is important to us, and as, you noted, my brother has had enough tough luck in this department already.

Nina said...

Oh, and Maggie... ahem, I got distracted. Thank you. I know that since you are a "virtuous non-believer" your prayers will count way way more than mine (recall, I was banished to the 8th circle of hell).