Usually, the Saturday section finds columnist Chris Erskine offering up one-liners and occasional words of wisdom. This week, his readers take over as Chris and his wife — you know her as Posh — battle her Stage 4 cancer diagnosis. Here are just a few of the messages that have been pouring in, lightly edited for space:
Finally sat down to read your column today, as I usually do every Saturday. After an exceptionally long day of frustrations (L.A. traffic, teenage angst, looming college costs, inability to get a table at two different mediocre restaurants, grumpy husband & tired feet) your column dropped me hard right back to ground-zero reality. I am sitting here embarrassed & ashamed, literally sobbing into my red wine. Sending you, Posh and the family all the love and support in the world.
Kelli Jo Nicholas, Simi Valley
I'm so sorry. I have loved living through your family stories, especially the last one's "unexpected arrival" and his growing into a teenage boy. Thank you for sharing what's happening inside your four walls.
Mike Kenny, Woodland Hills
Oh Chris, I am so sorry. I feel bludgeoned. You don't know me but I love your articles and feel such a connection to you. I lost my daughter Angelina the day after Christmas in 2013. She and your youngest [son] are the same age and your articles about him, although painful, have been important in my healing. You have touched my life without knowing it and I am grateful. Words are so hollow but I shed tears for your pain and pray for Posh's recovery.
Robert Sottile, Northridge
For many years I have been reading your column. I don't know you personally but I feel that I've had a glimpse of your philosophy of life, a glimpse into your values, your sense of family, your sense of fairness, your sense of what is important, very often expressed with irony and humor. This week I read your column with shock and pain for you and for your family. I felt your devastation, your uncertainty, your anger as to why this happened to your "Posh." A rhetorical question at best. I would like to wrap my arms around you and your family and tell you it will be OK. I can't. Because we all discover along the road that life can be unfair. I send my good thoughts and my prayers for a full recovery. If you can, please let us, your readers, know from time to time how things are going. And know that we are with you 100% of the way.
Carol Sirkin Horowitz, Calabasas
My wife has had breast cancer twice. Never saw it coming. She is well today. I wish you and your wife a complete and speedy recovery. Very difficult road; great destination.
Joe Hilberman, Westwood
I am so angry to hear your beautiful wife has cancer. Your column has charmed, delighted and amused me every Saturday morning for years. Know that you and your family are in the hearts and minds and prayers of many people who cherish you.
Ruth Geisler, Aliso Viejo
I am a longtime reader of your columns and I feel like I've shared your escapades through the years. I was sad to hear of Posh's recent diagnosis. As a two-time survivor of cancer, I understand all the issues you and your family are going through. I also feel that the best medicine is laughter, so keep it going! Even if you have to fake it. I'm just wishing all of you the best and my prayers are with you.
Bonnie Blake, Bermuda Dunes
Have read you for several years & suffered through all your macho, chest-thumping guy things. Why? I don't know. I was so saddened to hear about Posh's cancer diagnosis, and felt such warmth for you and your family and what your stories have meant to me, a grandma & great-grandma. My prayers and positive energy are headed in your direction, and love to you and your family. (Posh, don't know how you've done it all these years, but he's pretty cool after all, isn't he?). xoxox
Jozelle Smith, Culver City
Your Saturday piece is an exquisite testimony to the power of love, acceptance and the wonderful will to fight for life, all the while expressing that humor which is your trademark. Your family is closing ranks with beautiful courage and resilience. Your wonderful writing gift has blessed us for many years. Thank you for sharing this most difficult of life's challenges.
Joan and Dick Wagner, Murrieta
The last thing you need is probably some bozo like me offering advice, condolences or anything. You probably won't even read this (and I don't blame you). And that's just fine with me cuz the most important thing is for you and Posh to do whatever you need to do to feel better and to GET better without worrying about hurting other people's feelings. In 2013 I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. By mid-2015, I was down to 113 pounds and using a walker. Having come back from the dead is why I have so much incredible positivity in the face of dire prognoses. That and a belief in God and experience in the healing ministry. So lean on me if you need to; I'm here! May your friends shield you and your wife from cold pillows and cold doctors. And may Posh soon be well.
Aren and Dave Latimer, Torrance
I am a devoted fan of your writing and find Saturday my happiest morning of the week because of you. [Your column about Posh's diagnosis] was at once heartbreaking and magnificent. I read it, had some tears as the rest of the city did and went upstairs to wake my husband. He read it and cried as well. We send love to all of you. P.S. I beat this disease in 2009 and am as sassy as ever.
Christina Wright, Shadow Hills
Chris Erskine can be reached at Chris.Erskine@latimes.com. Please understand that while he is reading all your emails, he may not be able to respond to each one individually.