yesterday. It was from a friend of the Senior Cat - asking how he was.
It was unexpected because the writer is very ill herself. She has been going through the stress and trauma of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She has one of those rotten, lousy "inaccessible" tumours that cannot be operated on.
We had been thinking of her and inquiring about her from other people. I hadn't seen her husband in the shopping centre for a few weeks but that didn't surprise me. We knew she was slowly going through the treatment. Everyone said she was "tired" - hardly surprising.
The Senior Cat and I had sent messages with people we knew would visit her from her church. We know that, while people appreciate messages of support, they often don't want to have to try and make the effort of responding to visitors or answering the phone.
And there was the email instead. It contained a brief update and inquired after the Senior Cat...and asked if I was managing to keep him under control. It was that last little bit that told me that, whatever her health is like, her humour is intact. I sent her a reply in a similar vein and love from both of us.
When I had done that I reflected on how much easier it is to respond to someone who says something like that. I had to write another email two days ago. It was a very difficult one to write. The person I was writing to is also going through a stressful time - largely of her own making - but she lacks a sense of humour. A sense of humour might have saved her from any of the stress she is now going through. It is making life difficult for a good many other people. She needs help but doesn't recognise it.
I hope my sense of humour is intact and robust enough to get through whatever else life flings at me. It has to be less stressful that way.