On Wednesday morning I got a phone call from my friend Yumetaro-san. He has been in the hospital since June and his news wasn't good. I had written to him once before I left for the States and via his sister he sent me a letter too, but I hadn't realized how poorly his condition had developed.
Last night I went over to his apartment and spent about half an hour chatting and crying with him... From the beginning I guess we decided not to pretend that he is going to get better. He figures he probably won't last the month. I asked him if there was anything more he wanted to do and he said no, he just expected to live longer than 62 years. I teased him a bit and said I didn't see my prayer quilt around but he said it was at his sister's apartment and that he'd taken it to the hospital with him.
"That's supposed to remind you that you are surrounded in love, you know!"
Yumetaro-san was a bit depressed because since there is no more treatment available, the hospital has passed him on to a local clinic... They don't even seem to be able to figure out how to connect his drips let alone offer comfort and care... I don't know if he's disappointed in the hospitals or in his own weakness or in God in general.. He just is worn out.
Yumetaro-san is still trying to do things though he now needs help walking. His sister had taken him to a favorite orchard to watch while she picked grapes.
"It's more trouble than it's worth but I need to see all I can because there isn't much more time to see things."
Yumetaro-san let me hold his hand and he let me pray for him. I came home with a basket of grapes. I wish there was more I could do.