I learned just yesterday that the ex-long-term girlfriend had been in the hospital, undergoing surgery for breast cancer. Very few of her friends had been told, apparently, and I am well outside of her closest circle.
Not that we haven’t remained friendly, at a distance. We haven’t actually spoken to each other in person for a decade and a half, though I glimpsed her once or twice at events and thought better of going over and saying hello. Should I have? Who can say?
She will always be ‘the’ XLTGF, even though I have been in longer relationships. Maybe that’s why I kept my distance. It seems her surgery was successful and I hope that is an end to it, that she lives a full and happy rest of her life.
Interestingly (or maybe not!), she is the reason I have many friends in the Florida folk music community these days. She had been an acquaintance of the late Don Grooms and I attended my first Florida Folk Festival in her company. I fear she also is the reason I quit painting (it happened pretty much the same time we broke up) and turned to poetry. Had to express those feelings somehow, maybe.
These things happen. It’s life, and as our chunk of life melts away, we see more of them. But we are never quite ready for them.