I got a call this morning from a friend who is way up north, being with his brother who is in his last days. My friend, we shall call him J., has been holding his hand, singing him Beatles' songs and talking to him, even though he is not responsive. He is in hospice care and is not eating and is drinking very little. They are keeping him comfortable.
I'm not sure why J. called me. We are not close. I think he sees me as a motherly type who would never judge him for being gay. I can't remember how we met but I think my reputation as being Hank's mom preceded my actual introduction into his life. Hank is sort of a hometown hero and celebrity because of his early coming-out, back in high school, the first openly queer kid who'd ever attended that school. Also, Hank is just very cool and quite beloved.
Anyway, J. knows he can talk to me about shit- any shit- and I'm going to do my best to understand and to tell him that he is loved, that he is doing a beautiful thing.
He was able to make the trip to be with his brother because of a program called "Give a Mile."
I'd never heard of this organization nor had J. but his boyfriend found it online. They are dedicated to helping people get flights to see their distant loved ones who are dying. Check out that link. And according to J., within the matter of a few days of his applying to qualify, he was indeed on a plane, headed to be with his brother. They made arrangements to help him schedule and have a wheelchair at each airport he flew into. J. has had health problems for years, one of them being diabetes which has claimed one of his feet. So this was not an easy thing for him. I am so glad that this organization exists, that J.'s boyfriend found it, that J. qualified.
What a beautiful, beautiful program.
So I mostly listened to J. and told him I understood so much of what he was going through, has gone through, with family, with pain, and now with this holy and hard work and gift of being with his brother when he dies.
I feel honored. He was so very close to his mother, J. was, and she died a few years ago and he misses her. It's funny that he has another extremely maternal friend whom I have known since Hank was a baby and I have no idea how she and J. met and formed a friendship but here we are. I am sure he has called her too.
Yesterday when I was talking to May, she mentioned how coworkers come to her with their problems and I told her that this is how it is for people like us. We are motherly and non-judgemental. It's amazing how so many people just want someone to listen to them, to tell them that they are good people, that they deserve to be loved.
Such a simple thing. Although, in real life it can sometimes become complicated, especially when it comes to boundaries. But in situations like the one I had today with J., that just isn't really part of it, is it?
It's been a productive day for me and it's not over yet. I took a walk, and it was fine. Quite warm but not hot-like-the-breath-of-Satan hot.
For months now I've been looking out the back door of the laundry room to see a whole patch of those damn glory bower plants. The ones that have beautiful blooms, stink like hell, and reproduce like, well, Satan's spawn.
But it's been so hot and any energy I've had to work outside has been mostly spent in the garden. Today, however, I decided to pull those fuckers which I did, and I also picked up sticks and limbs and branches and pulled more of the glory bower and other invasives in the old kitchen garden and in the camellia bed. I got nowhere near done getting it all in order but it was a start.
I really miss having chickens and one of the reasons is that they would always eat the dregs of things like coleslaw that we just could not finish.
And here's the final paragraph of the review: