My internet Zen friend Hughie has had a stroke. A large and damaging stroke, according to his daughter.
Strange how affecting something like that can be (and I don't just mean that it reminds me I'm going to die). I've never met Hughie, never spoken with him. He lives in the UK and I'm on the other side of the pond. Nevertheless, through Zen bulletin boards, each of us has cracked wise to the delight of the other; each of us has made observations with which the other has agreed. And when he quoted his wife from time to time, I would routinely joke about coming across the ocean to marry her ... very pointed, feet-on-the-ground remarks; a straight shooter who needed Buddhism in about the same way she needed another nose hair.
Highie's son named his son after me, I seem to recall. Of all strange things! And I never met him either, though I did beg and plead for computer help from time to time ... Andy knows that shit.
Hughie had his stroke four days ago at 5 a.m. Here is a bit of an email I got from his daughter, Claire, today:
They have assessed him and said he's had a 'large' stroke and that the damage is severe. They said he probably can't follow what we are saying beyond 10 seconds before he loses the flow and that he then probably forgets it. He can't read he can't make any sense of the words. ...
For him to be the same again would be 'miraculous' to use their words. He seems fed up but is still laughing.
My friend is a laugh-er though I have never heard him laugh. I am happy he is still laughing ... and very sad otherwise.