From An Old Friend

A Kind Letter Of Concern

Etienne Botes

Johannesburg, South Africa

From: Etienne Botes
To: “Positive Atheism”
Sent: 16 October 2006
Subject: Friendly Greetings: Are You Okay?

Hello Cliff,

I have been a fan of yours for a long time, and use your site regularly. Thank you again for the site and your work.

I have not seen any updated mail for a while. I know you have problems with your health.

I just want to wish you well and like to know how you are. A response from you will be greatly appreciated.

Warmest regards,
Etienne Botes
Johannesburg, South Africa

  

From: “Positive Atheism”
To: Etienne Botes
Sent: 16 October 2006
Subject: Friendly Greetings: Are You Okay?

Thank you for your kindness and concern!

I know you have problems with your health.

Beaucoup.

I keep plugging away, however.

I recently lost most of the use of both hands. This is because I had been making the hands do what only feet and legs should ever have to do. Carpel Tunnel on steroids, the wrists having had to support, balance, and lift hundreds of pounds for several years.

And this is just the latest: something this acute seems to happen to my body every five or six weeks these days.

The worst part about this whole thing revolves ar ound the systematic exodus of my friends and family from my life (when this all started in 2001-02). Particularly troublesome is how the resulting loneliness and solitude continues to impact my personality, making it that much more difficult for me to meet people and to make new friends.

Fortunately, my wheelchair arrives this week (supposedly). This will quickly mitigate many of these problems in ways that I shouldn’t need to explain.

I must also say this: A handful of very special people have emerged for whom garnering the patience needed for situations such as these is not too formidable of a challenge. Special mention must go out to my parents, who, after almost five years, managed to learn to break through the denial and to accept the fact that that I am crippled in several different ways.

Again, thanks for your concern. Letters such as yours really help during these tough, frightening, and lonely times.

Cliff Walker
www.positiveatheism.org