As I write this, it is far earlier in the morning than I am typically apt to be up and about. What has driven me from the warmth and comfort of my bed so early? Pain.

The pain that woke me up is from my tooth. Oh. My. Word. The dull pain that sent me to the dentist yesterday has developed into an acute pain that sends me running for the ibuprofen. A call to the dentist’s office for “something stronger” is not out of the question. I’m actually eager for the upcoming root canal. The sooner this is dealt with, the better!

The pain that is keeping me awake is of a different sort. A friend of mine just lost his mother to Alzheimer’s on Sunday. I suppose she may have been lost to him long before, as that is the nature of the beast.

I struggle to use the word friend. It has been a long time since I could easily describe us as friends. The intervening crap is complicated. We likely would have parted ways years ago had the situation allowed it. We work together. He’s my boss. At a church. Like I said, complicated.

Over time, the complicated crap has settled into functional dysfunction. A dull pain.

The death of his mother has made that pain more acute. At one time, I think that I would have been on his short list of friends to call. An offer of support accepted. Now there is nothing. Silence. We receive information only through the grape vine.

I am truly sorry for his loss.

I am also truly sorry for the loss of our friendship.

There’s nothing to readily ease this pain. No ibuprofen. No root canal. Just time. More prayer.