Gravy. It’s all gravy.

At just 39 years of age and an alcoholic, the American poet Raymond Carver was given six months to live. In and out of rehab, he was destitute, his marriage over and his career stalled. Somehow Carver found the courage to change. He stopped drinking and began a slow journey back to himself. Ten years later Carver faced a new challenge: lung cancer. At age 50, without bitterness, Carver spent his final days with a deep sense of gratitude for every moment beyond his expectation.


Raymond Carver

No other word will do. For that’s what it was. Gravy.
Gravy, these past ten years.
Alive, sober, working, loving and
being loved by a good woman. Eleven years
ago he was told he had six months to live
at the rate he was going. And he was going
nowhere but down. So he changed his ways
somehow. He quit drinking! And the rest?
After that it was all gravy, every minute
of it, up to and including when he was told about,
well, some things that were breaking down and
building up inside his head. ‘Don’t weep for me,’
he said to his friends. ‘I’m a lucky man.
I’ve had ten years longer than I or anyone
expected. Pure gravy. And don’t forget it.’

4 thoughts on “Gravy. It’s all gravy.

  1. Hi Simon
    Ramond Carver has been one of my all rime favourites; lovely to know you enjoy his work too. I quote Late Fragment often, and What the Doctor Said… Go well Simon.

    1. Hi Margie, he’s a recent discovery for me. I don’t know where I’ve been?? Yes, ‘to call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth.’ Oh to have such a gift of words.

      “Late Fragment” by

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