wings and things

“How is Anthony?”

on October 3, 2012

I am home after a day with cousins and Anthony and our next-door-neighbour drops in with a freshly cooked meal. I am gobsmacked at her kindness. She doesn’t ask about Anthony because she already knows and cares more than any neighbour I have ever had. Every morsel of her meal is a gift.

I am at the local shop getting milk and bread etc. and I am trying to be flippily quick but the woman serving me catches me eye’s heart and asks, “How is Anthony?” And I dissolve into tears in the middle of the shop, and she hugs me across the counter and, beyond embarrassed, I hug her back. She doesn’t even know Anthony but she must see him in my clumsy stance, inside my bones; it’s probably the limp I’ve developed to counteract the impotence of my sorrow.

How is Anthony?

Not good.

I am helping the wheelchair taxi driver to get Anthony into the taxi and he is sullen and sad and I am bereft and all of a sudden his brother turns up unannounced and shakes Anthony’s hand as if everything is normal – as if this is normal. As the taxi drives off, this brother says, “He looks well, doesn’t he.”

A lot of people say that these days, and these words are either inane, naive or just plain stupid.

How is Anthony?

Not good.

I am home after a day with cousins and Anthony and our neighbour drops in with a freshly cooked meal. I am gobsmacked at her kindness. She doesn’t ask about Anthony because she already knows and cares more than any next-door-neighbour I have ever had. Every morsel of her meal is a gift.

44 responses to ““How is Anthony?”

  1. artfulanxiety says:

    Life becomes a pain sometimes, but it’s absolutely beautiful that you have such loving souls around you. I’m quite jealous but happy for you that you get the support you need. Much hugs to you dear Jules

  2. niasunset says:

    I can almost feel and understand you dear Julie… But maybe the right question should be “How is Julie?”… Love you, nia

  3. gus57 says:

    Hugs from me, too.

  4. sbcallahan says:

    is that “the” brother? well me all know he is a dolt! i agree, the right question is how is Julie? if anthony could think to ask he would. so we ask … how is julie? what can we do for you? i ask chris every day and let him know that i do care about how he is doing ever so much. i hate this for you, i hate this for anthony and i hate it for my love. but we have these beautiful memories to last us and keep us strong through this time. you have your love story, so many leave without ever having that.

    • jmgoyder says:

      You are so right and, even though your situation is almost the reverse of mine, we do face some similar things and can be glad for the memories. At least we aren’t dolts hahaha!

  5. An understanding neighbour is a great gift. Take care.

  6. Colline says:

    You face the reality of Anthony every day and it is good to know that your neighbour realises this and understands. You have been given a gift in her – who says that God doesn’t care? He does and has given her comforting presence to you. God bless you.

  7. bluebee says:

    Some people just know how to be there

  8. Louise G. says:

    Dear Julie, as Niasunset asked… How is Julie?

    Weary is understandable – you are doing so much and carrying so much — who is taking care of Julie?

    Hugs dear Julie.

  9. Julie, as always, thank you for sharing your deeply personal journey. (((hugs)))

  10. victoriaaphotography says:

    I DO wish, more people would ask how Julie is too.

    How are you at this stage of the Waiting Game Dear Julie?

  11. terry1954 says:

    i felt everything you said. i hate it too when people ask me hey what did you two do over the weekend? i want to get smart and say we went to the local dance and danced all night………..why do they ask dumb things like that when Al can barely move at times

  12. Anonymous says:

    What is your blog’s address? Is it I told my friend (whose husband has Parkinson’s Disease) about your website and she REALLY wants to see your website! πŸ™‚

  13. hugr5 says:

    What is your website’s name? Is it I told that friend of mine (I mentioned her to you earlier), the one whose husband has Parkinson’s Disease, about your blog and she REALLY wants to read it. πŸ™‚

  14. hugr5 says:

    What is your website’s address? Is it I told my friend (the one whose husband has Parkinson’s disease) and she REALLLY wants to read your blog. πŸ™‚

  15. Wow, honey. just wow. Sending you hugs through the ether.

  16. Robyn Lee says:

    Big Hugs — And – How is Julie?! xxoo

  17. artsifrtsy says:

    People don’t know what to say – it’s hard to know what will help and what will hurt. I remember my grandfather struggling with people no longer asking – like his friends had forgotten her. It all took a terrible toll on his health. Take care of yourself. I can hear the weight of it all in your words – it’s too much to shoulder. Get some rest, have some fun, let yourself off the hook for Anthony’s feelings.

  18. Just hugs…. and know you are so loved

  19. Judith Post says:

    I don’t think people know what to say, so they say “He looks good, doesn’t he?” But fake cheerfulness can get on your nerves when you’re not feeling like faking it. There were a few sayings I got really tired of, but I know the people meant well.

  20. Thank goodness for the kindness of neighbors. Take care of you.

  21. It must be so frustrating when they ask how he is and you really want to say he is not good he is terrible and it is tearing me apart but instead you say something polite and nice…………I am with Robyn how are you doing………taking it one day at a time…………..I guess

  22. pixilated2 says:

    Making meals for friends and family in time of need is so 50s.

    I miss those days of simple kindness and caring. At least someone hasn’t forgotten how it is done. I am so glad that you have good and true friends there to hold you up when you need it.
    ~ Lynda

  23. elizabeth says:

    (((hugs))) Thank God for thoughtful neighbors.

  24. Rhonda says:

    catches me eye’s heart – oh boy…what a phrase. (even if the me was supposed to be my…works both ways). thinking of ya jules…

  25. batgurrl says:

    what does one say to ease the pain. you do more than most would and should be proud that you have the steel to do all this. We all pray for you even though most of us have never met you Jules.

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