I notice the same number has called a couple of times on my cellphone. I've been in a meeting most of the morning regarding the book and launch events planned for May 4 and did not take my cell. When I listen to the caller's message, I feel the tears.
TP is dying of cancer. Throughout his life he's had very little contact with his siblings. In fact, since his father kicked him out at age 8, he's had no contact with him. The caller in this instance is TPs eldest brother's wife.
"We've been looking for him for thirty years," she tells me when I call back. "Finally, last night, a really nice staff member there connected them and they talked. My husband is over-whelmed and is coming to see TP. Will he be okay until Friday?"
I reassure her that at this moment in time the prognosis is he will and assure her that I will let her know if anything changes.
"He's bringing our two sons with him," she adds, her voice clogged with tears. "They've never met their uncle."
I go to see TP in his room on the fourth floor. It's quiet there during the day. The floor isn't open to clients. Our funding doesn't provide for staffing of the sleeping floors during the day, other than Day Sleep on the third floor -- for those who have a medical certificate or job confirmation for night work. To ease TPs journey, we have given him a panic button and made it possible for him to be on the floor during the day.
TP is resting, watching a movie on a DVD player. "I just had a chat with your sister in law," I tell him.
He smiles a little grin. "Yeah. My brother's coming to see me. Driving all the way from," and he names a city several hours to the east of Calgary.
I sit beside him and we chat of mundane things. He asks me how the book is coming along, what's the deadline. Will I be happy to see it finished.
"Yes. I will," I tell him. "I'm hoping it gives me a chance to put some balance back in my life."
He laughs. "Louise. I've never known you to not be busy. Why change now?"
I smile in return. "Because I want to. Because you've taught me I can."
His eyes squint into tiny slits. His mouth purses. He takes a deep breath.
"You know, I didn't have a falling out with my siblings. It was always about my dad."
I nod my head and keep listening.
"My brother said they have been looking for me for 30 years. Even knew where I was working seismic. When I was hauling horses." He pauses and laughs. "Always said you had to be two steps in front of me if you wanted to catch me."
"I'm glad they've caught up with you now," I reply.
He breathes deeply again. "Yeah. Guess I finally slowed down enough to get caught."
This Friday TP and his brother will be reunited. He will meet his nephews for the first time. His sister-in-law's father saw the article in the Calgary Herald last week and sent it along with a message, You have to read this.
His sister-in-law sent me an email later in the afternoon. "I can't tell you how much this visit is affecting my husband. He can hardly wait to hug his brother!!"
Two brother's hug for the first time in 30 years. Two young men meet their uncle for the first time in their lives.
A family reunites. The circle of love that was broken long ago is reconnected.
All is well in the world today.
I am grateful.