I spend my days caroming between my spanking-new nephew and my desperately ill friend. One I’m teaching that books are meant to be read, not eaten. The other? That life, even so prematurely near the end, is worth fighting for. Worth eating and breathing for. Both make me cry. Both rip my heart out, one with unspeakable joy, the other with unbearable grief. When I can’t go on I clutch the baby and draw in his scent, trying to erase the tang of antiseptic and the odor of sick. I just got one and soon I will lose the other. Even in balance there is pain.