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Kevin and I separated two years ago; only on paper do we remain married.

I said good night and that I would pick him up from his colonoscopy on Friday, because “that’s a job for your technical-still-wife.”

So Kevin kissed me on Monday and found out he had colon cancer on Friday, and we never talked about the kiss.

I have too much experience with cancer, not my own, but the cancer of so many friends and family that I have lost count. My mother died of pancreatic cancer when I was 19. This experience has made me terrific in an emergency — good at answering middle-of-the-night phone calls, used to having my name screamed for help.

I was built for this situation. I was made to be there for him. After getting the news, I went to Kevin’s apartment, where we called his mother. I was Kevin’s only family here. She got online to renew her passport, and I found an apartment to rent for her.

I didn’t say it out loud, but I knew I couldn’t be the wife anymore. I could be the friend, but not the wife.

Read more in the New York Times.

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