Six years ago, my close friend Etienne developed a chronic illness.
Three years ago, it got worse, and he had to have major surgery.
I remember him being hospitalized, afraid, in pain, unsure about what was to come next.
I remember listening to the doctor say he might need a colostomy bag, and being scared shitless that his life as we knew it would change forever.
I remember holding his hand, worried sick, and telling him it was all going to be alright. Even though I didn’t know if it was.
I remember sitting with Etienne’s mother in the hospital for hours while they cut my friend open, and wishing desperately for him to be ok.
I remember trying to take on some of his pain, knowing that I couldn’t imagine, even for a moment, what my friend was going through.
I remember, finally, the day I wheeled him out of the hospital, brought him back to my house, and watched a movie with him, like nothing happened, like old friends do.
These days, anytime I feel down about my health, I suck it up and deal with it. Because there are people out there, like Etienne, who have to go through way worse than the occasional flu, pain in his joints, or asthma.
So today, I’m not going to teach you how to pick up girls. I’m not going to talk about videogames, or silly jokes, or sex. I’m going to let Etienne talk about making it through a life-threatening illness, and how he manages to live day-to-day doing by doing the thing he loves the most.