“I caught a train to Sheffield…”

Well, apparently I won’t be seeing my boss again. I wrote about his medical problems back here, and after his surgery and return to work last year he stayed on until the end of April. He was game, but he never could put any weight back on his frame, and as time passed he started shutting his lights off and “resting” for longer and longer spells, until one day his office was dark for the last half of the day. He virtually crawled out of here that afternoon and never came back; it turned out that the piece of the tumor the doctors couldn’t remove had grown and was now blocking his bowels. He’s been in the VA Hospital in Redwood City since the first week of May, and none of the doctors’ stabs at shrinking the tumor have helped. I was planning on visiting him this week, but because he’s weakened so much in just the last few days his wife tactfully waved me off. She just now emailed me the following: “S. is sleeping a lot now. Looks like the doctors were right – he will sleep more with each passing day and go peacefully in his sleep. With no nutrition, what else can the body do?”

I did get to see him one last time, about two weeks ago. I knew long before then that he’d become pretty important to me. He was the best boss I’ve ever had (by a mile), a friend as much he was a boss, and the man who figuratively saved my life by hiring me when he did. (This was about five years ago, when thanks to being unemployed for a long time I was just wasting away with a feeling that everything was dead.) At the hospital I sat in his room and told him these things while holding his hand, and it didn’t feel strange at all; in fact, it would’ve been agonizing if I hadn’t been able to express it to him. His wife says he’s made his peace with what’s happened, and I guess I have, too.

Anyway, one day a couple months ago I had coffee with an old friend who I reconnected with through Facebook (this is one of the good Facebook stories), and she told me that she really enjoyed this blog “when it isn’t about movies”. I didn’t know what to say then, and I still don’t, since—you know—it’s largely a movie blog, or at least a place where I log lots of the stuff I watch and either gush or complain or try to make sense of it. More to the point, the slow declines of both my boss and my dad (and I also saw him in Phoenix a weekend ago) haven’t left me bubbling over with mirth. So I just wanted to say, I never meant for this to become the Blog of Gloom & Doom (With Some Brigitte Bardot on the Side). But those are the curves life is throwing right now, so…

One Response to ““I caught a train to Sheffield…””

  1. mary ann Says:

    I’m so sorry, Tom, this makes me sad. But I am pleased that you could sit and tell your friend how much he meant to you.

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