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.