I really don't have any brilliant message to impart, but I wanted to touch base and see how you are doing. It meant a lot to me to see you at the wake, but of course there was very little chatting for me there. I can't believe that the funeral was a week ago -- it still feels like five minutes ago to me.
You know, I have so much admiration for women who can do what you do -- spend your talent and energy with patients who mostly don't get better. I mean, I know that they get better for a while, but some of them don't and with patients like Mike I know that you knew from the beginning that he had something that people can't live with for very long. He had such a good year, though, that it must be horribly painful to see that end. I know that it is for me . . . but I wouldn't have given up what we had for that year for anything.
Anyhow, back to you -- thank you for letting yourself befriend Duff (and me). It made the whole process of fighting to have that year so much more human, and the treatments so much more bearable. I know that you don't have to do that, and that most patients don't get to bond up with one person because you just can't let yourself be that open and still do what you do. All I know is that it was a wonderful gift to us, and I am grateful (but sorry for the pain that it caused you). Saying goodbye to you was the beginning of Duff letting go, and I know that you knew that. I just hope that you also know how much genuine affection he had for you. That was his gift in life -- to be able to share himself with so many people that he cared for, and you were certainly one of them.
So thanks again. I am not going anywhere, and I will try to stay in touch but if that doesn't work I just wanted you to know what a difference you made in our liives and how if you don't do anyting else nice this year you can still know that you make the world a bette place just by being yourself. I know that you will soar through school and not be delivering chemo therapy forever. Be happy and stay smiling. I am sending you a picture of himself.
Stay in touch if you want! We are getting a little more normal every day, but things will be different now. Like I tell my kids, though, different isn't better or worse -- it is just different and you make of it what you want.