Losing a dear friend

Published 5:43 pm Saturday, December 22, 2012

To the Editor:

I consider Ed Jones a friend even though I never met him in the flesh-so to speak.

One night last April I received a phone call from a Senate colleague of his and a former graduate school classmate of mine requesting that I call him and share my experiences with pancreatic cancer and my treatment for it. (I was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer in December of 2011). I called him as soon as I hung up.

From that call a very wholesome friendship developed. I remember sharing with him on that first call the type of treatment I was receiving and my lack of a negative reaction to it (no nausea, no lost work days, no weight loss, etc). I remember explaining to him that no two bodies are alike and that reactions to the treatment would differ from one person to the next.

I told him that my experience had been very transformative, personally and spiritually and that my faith had trumped fear. I encouraged him to stay strong and call me anytime day or night with questions or concerns or if he just needed to talk.

Since April we talked to one another primarily on Sunday afternoons or nights. During each of those calls I was always struck by how sincere and caring he was. I remember telling my wife after one of those calls that he could be my best friend. His death feels as if I have, in fact, lost one of my dearest and closest friends.

May God bless his soul and comfort his family.

Harry L. Jones, Sr.

County Manager

Mecklenburg County