Saturday, February 27, 2010


An earthquake hit Chile and sent a tsunami toward Hawaii, where our good friends Mike and Laura are vacationing, and toward many other spots on the Pacific.  Several years ago, I dare say few of us knew the word, "tsunami," although most have been hit a few times in our lives by figurative tsunamis.  Like the one that hit us when I lifted the receiver for our land line this morning.  "I have horrible news," said the caller.  "My son committed suicide early this morning."  I can't imagine the wave that hit our friend and keeps slamming him against the wall.

His son was a friendly soul, well-liked by almost everyone, except for the mental illness he harbored and recognized.  He said he knew he could get treatment, but the pills and the illness would pester him as long as he lived.  He left messages trying to comfort his family and friends by reassuring them that his leaving had nothing to do with their behavior; that his illness was the cause.  This, from a 16-year-old.

We promptly visited our friend, who said several times, among tears, stories and, I suppose, the best prescription for almost anything, laughter, "This is the worst day of my life."  A car passed us as we walked home, its license plate proclaiming "RxLAF."  RxCry.

"What can you say?" says Virginia.

"Not much," say I. "Hugs might help."

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