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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

WHEN FRIENDS NEED OUR PRAYERS

TUESDAY.
I've had a feeling for weeks that something was very wrong with my friend A. Before I went to Greece he had confided in me that he was worried and scared about the possibility that he had something not right with his stomach and the doctors had 'found something'. I worried about him all the time I was away because he didn't reply to my emails. But when I returned, he contacted me and I saw him one night, looking thinner but quite well, and he explained he had been in hospital but the outcome had been positive and he was on the road to recovery.

He's contacted me a couple of times since then, said he really wanted to talk to me but never showed up. Some friends saw him the other week and both said he didn't look well or happy.
It made me wonder if things were not as good as he'd thought. But as he's often a dark and brooding man, we also contemplated that he might suffer from serious depression.

He has not been to the L.Q. since before I left for Greece and this weekend I really missed him, could feel his presence around, and so I asked his friend how he was. I was told A. was fine, he had some 'little problems' but everything was okay. That was just a cover-up. Because last night I found out A. is back in hospital and he has cancer.

Evidently he didn't want anyone to know and yet it's important for him to know his friends care and are supportive. Today one of the friends is going to find out more -- what hospital he's in etc -- I'm sure he doesn't want visitors, yet I feel that sooner or later I must go and see him. We need to talk. We'd had a long, though tempestuous friendship. (I loved him more than just a friend. ) When I got back from Greece, he emailed me and said he really wanted to talk to me, that I was 'different from the rest'. I know over the past few years we have confided a great many things to each other and I always respected him and valued our friendship no matter how often my feelings were hurt or I felt he was being insincere.

I've lost three very dear men friends over the past five years to cancer. He knows this, and perhaps wanted to spare me more heartbreak. Roberto, my soul-mate/brother/friend died in Athens five years ago of throat cancer that spread through his body. Four years ago my dear shepherd Mitso from the village, who I loved so much, died unexpectedly of lung cancer. This April, right before my trip to Greece, my other buddy Graham died suddenly of colon cancer.

These are just some of the recent deaths of friends and family members, and mostly all from cancer.

I believe it's terribly important for people who are ill with this disease to try and keep a positive outlook and fight with all their strength to beat it. A. needs to know his friends care and are praying for him. I am feeling very sorrowful about this news. Because of circumstances, I've tried to put him out of my mind, move on, but deep down I knew it was not possible to abandon him and now more than ever I feel a need to see him, talk to him, pray for him. I don't want to let him down in this very serious time of need.

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