First, thanks to all for your encouraging posts.
It was exactly what I need to boost my spirits before visiting my friend.
As I expected he was/is in pretty bad shape. He underwent a procedure right before I arrived that did not seem to have the desired effect. Basically he can not walk or sit up because of being too weak, and he is only expected to stay in the hospital until his Hospice facilities within his home is set up.
Fortunately I had seen him about 2 months ago so I was prepared for the difference in his appearence, however he has deterioated even more since then, which was very hard to take.
He was very glad to see me and when I walked into his room he began to cry. We hugged for a long time before either of us said a word, he seemed to not want to let go. I explained to him that even though I had only seen him once in 10 years, he and his family has always been in my thoughts, and I always remember the fun times we had as kids and the pramks and games we played as kids with much happiness.
He then began to tell me about his hopes for his wife and kids for their future, and the details about his prognosis - not good.
I was able to spend an hour with him, before he had any other visitors so it was a good unstrained visit at least for me, without hearing the Dub's Dribble.
When I go up to leave we hugged again, and this time he said, "I want to die knowing that I am going to see you in the New System." I should have been prepared for this, but I wasn't.
I continued to hug him and after a slight hesitation I said, " I don't want you to die at all, but if that is inevitable, I want you to know that if God really is a God of love, we will see each other again."
Did I just evade the issue, maybe so, but I just didn't have the heart to tell him what I really thought of the beliefs of his religon.
I will continue to stay close to him and his family throughout this ordeal, so I am sure that this will come up again with not just him but also his family.
Bottom line, I'm just glad that we were able to see each other and talk. I'll remember this forever.
By the way, I was able to connect with our other Dfed friend who I haven't seen in over 10 years. It was if we had never lost contact. He is doing fine and has really picked up his life since leaving the "lie". After we apoligized for abandoning each other ( we were both Dfed around the same this, but we still shunned each other, Go figure...) we vowed not to lose contact with each other again , and we are getting together later this week.
We were also able to engage another ex dub who works in administration for a hosiptal in the same network as the one my friend is staying, to sit down with the family to make sure that they are taking advantage of the benefits and monies available to them for his hospital stay.
Thanks again for all the posts and I will keep you guys updated.