Happy/sad news

Last night on Facebook, someone I haven’t seen in years posted pictures from her wedding, which was, apparently, yesterday. She and her SO have been together for, god, about 15 years or so. (Trying to reconstruct when she and the SO hooked up, because it was at a time when I’d thought he and I might have … oh well, all water under the bridge.)

So, a little surprised that this happened so suddenly, but I conveyed, via Facebook of course, my happiness for them and my wishes that they would have as many happy years of marriage together as they’d already had of unmarried bliss. A trifle more wittily phrased than that, but that was the sentiment.

This morning the guy’s ex-wife, who I’ve also known for20 years but who I have an active FB friendship with [we always have several games of Scrabble going and she regularly beats the snot out of me] posted a picture of her and the groom’s sons at the wedding, so I posted a comment on what handsome young men they’ve become.

She responded with a private message – turns out the reason for the (yes it really was) very quick and very unexpected wedding is that the groom has pancreatic cancer, with apparently a fairly grim prognosis.

Yikes.

Just needed to vent.

How sad. But wonderful to be able to celebrate their love and life together while there’s still time. But super sad…

I can never decide which would be better, and I suppose it depends on the people involved and it’s the lesser of two evils anyway, and it’s not like we generally get to choose, but do I want time to say goodbye, or would dropping dead suddenly be preferable?

They might have done it for the practical reason that in some places, if you’re not a member of the family, they won’t let you in the hospital room when things go bad. A sad but hefty point for the need for legal gay marriage.
(And I’m sorry that what might have been, never was.)

A couple years ago, in November, the month of my birth date and his, a group of high school “friends” called me from their local steak place to tell me my old boyfriend had died of cancer. Later I could see the scenerio; they were having a “girls night out” and decided that I should know.
At the time I reacted like a hammer-struck cow in a butcher house and just nodded a lot at the telephone. The conversation quickly petered out.
Then I was apalled at how disrespective that was to his wife. They had reached across 800 miles and 40 years to tell me that the (boy) I had (loved) at fifteen was dead. But she had lived with the living person for over thirty years.

So for a year, with each turn of the seasons, I thought about him. (It takes four seasons to begin to get over a death…ingrained in me since I was a small child. Just another backwards country saying that’s true.)

If I’d still lived in the same town I wouldn’t have gone to his funeral, but I would have saved his obituary.

Sometimes that’s all we can do.