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People I know are dying. And people whom I love are losing the people they love.

And I feel oddly helpless. Maybe it’s not odd to feel helpless at a time like this, but it’s odd for me to feel helpless.

My dear friend H, after moving back to Erie with her husband and child (at the time) to be near her family again is losing her mom. Her mother has been sick for (at my estimation) about 14 months now, fighting cancer and secondary cancer. As of 9 p.m. on Saturday night, though, she was definitely in her last 24 hours. I am still waiting to hear.

H sounds exhausted. I know that I am glad her mother got to see her granddaughter born (in April) and made it through Christmas. H says Christmas time was always her mother’s favorite time of year — which makes losing her now all the more poignant.

H, my heart is with you. I wish I could do more.

And Saturday at 5:30 p.m., while having our Erie Christmas we got a call from Pittsburgh that Nanny had had a stroke and was in a coma. That rocked us severely. DearDR got in the car and headed for home. He thought it best for the girls and I to stay, and we would come home Sunday, as early as we could.

By the time DearDR got to Nanny, she was awake. It turns out that maybe she didn’t have a stroke after all. But she was severely dehydrated and undernourished. They are keeping her in the hospital to try to find out what is wrong and if they can do anything.

DearDR has withdrawn a bit from me. He seems to be processing everything in his head, and just can’t reach out to me yet. And that’s okay. His relationship with his grandmother is… it is truly something special. I know her death will be a serious blow to him. Fortunately it seems we will not have to face it just yet.

I can’t imagine what it was like for him on that two-hour drive home, alone. DearDR, my heart — and so much more — is with you too. I’m here when you need me.

I keep thinking I have tomorrow off, too. Must remember to actually go to work. I have so many more things to tell, but I had to relieve my heart of some of its weight.

Edited to add: A friend and former co-worker just sent word that his father died yesterday after a long battle with cancer. I’m so sorry, J. My thoughts are with you, too.