About a year ago, I shared my cousin Eric’s love story about meeting a boy and his dog and love at first sight.
This morning, I was saddened to learn that this love story didn’t have a storybook ending. In December, Randy went back for another stem cell transplant. It was an up-and-down battle as his immune system was destroyed by the prep for the transplant, and he caught the flu while simultaneously recovering from the transplant. He went through a brief coma, then a ventilator, then finally breathing on his own & starting PT. We all followed his progress through FB updates, leaping to “like” every sign of improvement and talk of going home as he began to finally recover from the one-two punch of a transplant and H1N1. Yeah, he was beating this thing! He was gonna do it.
Unfortunately Randy did go home last week, but only because the cancer came back despite all the best medical efforts, and he was done with the fight.
Once again, f*cking cancer had its way and Eric’s partner and best friend, Randy, left this world. If there’s any good news, he was able to do it at home, with Eric and the pups by his side.
It breaks my heart - obviously because it’s f*cking cancer which no one deserves. He and Eric deserved to grow old together. The less obvious reason is because I never met Randy. As I mentioned before, there was always a bit of silence in our family about Eric’s “friend” Randy as it was hard for the older generation (my aunts/uncles) to fully accept it. So, Randy wasn’t present at Christmas or other family events like other spouses were.
It is bittersweet over the past few months to learn about their love for each other. It is another one of those stories that makes you wonder how anyone could say their love is wrong or undeserving of recognition. Love is love is love. I find comfort in this poem that says “Love doesn’t die, people do. So when all that’s left of me is love, give me away.”