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My friend with the burned 100 acres just called me back. I’d left him a message. I was checking in on him. He sounded horribly low. He’d been on the phone. His dad had called to let him know that his 41 year old cousin’s cancer appears unstoppable; go say goodbye.

I know my friend because of his cousin. His cousin was the last man I lived with. We had one of those truly magical relationships. One thousand lovely days of being cherished.

For reasons that are too complex to explain; we methodically and deliberately moved far apart. He went home to his big sky; Montana. Eventually, he married and had the family he so deeply longed for. He has two very young sons and a wife he adores.

We agreed to cease our communication. But because of my friendship with his cousin, I know about his life; his marriage, his sons and tragically now, about his battle with cancer.

Our age difference made me fear what our future would hold. But it the end, it would not have mattered. Cancer has robbed him of his future. It’s robbed many people that I loved.

This past week of spreading ashes amongst ashes left me with a weary heart. But the latest news of this disease’s destruction of another dearly loved being has given me heartburn.