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Hard News

I had planned to tell you at some point about the first person I ever made friends with online. But tonight I just heard really hard news about his mother, Debbie. I'm going to write about her, instead, and ask your thoughts and prayers.

Some of you may have met Debbie under the AOL screenname SCRYBOOK. It's in honor of her love of scary books. If you were in her online address book, you've probably already received this news.

Debbie is dying. She was diagnosed last year with a rare form of lung cancer (she's a never-smoker). The news tonight is that her doctors have discontinued treatment except for pain relief, and they are saying she won't live more than another 90 days. Her family doesn't think she has that long. She's in a lot of pain, and is exhausted.

I met Debbie just under two years ago, when I went to Washington, D.C., to join in her birthday celebration at her son's. The family lives in southern California. In addition to her son, Debbie has two daughters and three grandchildren. She and her husband observed their thirty-first wedding anniversary in June.

She was every bit as much fun in person as she had been in instant messages. (One really funnny series of pictures I took was of Debbie feeding airline peanuts to a squirrel on the Mall.) I'm so glad we had that chance to get together; future trip plans had to be cancelled.

I also have heard great stories of what a wonderful, supportive, loving mother she is. I can attest to the fact that she's a caring person.

If you know Debbie somehow, and would like to send a message to her, that would be appreciated. I've offered to be the message-collector, so you're welcome to send them to me. I am not sure if e-mail to SCRYBOOK is being read these days, but I'll be sure the messages get to her. (That also applies if you don't know her except through my eyes, but would like to send a greeting.)

And if you don't know her, please do me a favor and keep her and the family in your thoughts anyway. I lost my own mother a few years back, and I know how rough this is.

And this is yet another reminder to us all that life is too short. If you have been out of touch with someone you care about, get in touch. You're welcome to tell them I told you to call.


Text copyright 2000 Becky