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Life Doesn't Happen in a Vacuum

Monday, April 13, 2020

When I was young and my father, a scientist, used to say this to me, I didn't understand what he meant. I now realize that it means whatever personal, professional, emotional, or spiritual challenges humans face, the world is still spinning with its own issues.

While I was busy having a hard-boiled egg size eraser removed from my head, one of my dearest friends, who I texted back and forth with almost every other day, was undergoing what she thought was just a gentle case of stage 2 breast cancer, serious but not life-threatening.

What my buddy didn't really think about was all of her "co-morbid" conditions, her own brain tumor too small to operate on; another small tumor on her thyroid, probably not a problem; and that congestive heart failure thing.

So, when she entered the hospital only days after my release Feburary 28, due to "complications from chemotherapy," it never crossed either of our minds that we would never see each other again.

Cheryl and I were introduced only 16 months ago by a friend who thought it was so cute that these two 60 year old ladies were so infatuated with Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters. We were both good friends of this third friend, who invited us both to lunch, and we hit it off immediately. We bought our first tickets for the Foo Fighters show we were finally going to see together mid-February. Finally we would see our fave Dave together! Our husbands were going to meet and we were going to spend the weekend in Baltimore.

When Cheryl called from the hospital I was still on a ton of pain medication and the novel COVID-19 was beginning to get national attention, but still not on the minds of most people. I didn't think about it too much.

When she didn't get out of the hospital right away and I was off meds in the daytime she wanted me to stay away from the hospital to avoid the germs. I just had brain surgery, after all.

When she was released 3 weeks ago today I had started to get suspicious. I called her and asked point blank, "Is there something you're not telling me?" She admitted that yes, she was dying. Her heart had given out.

My new bestie passed away 15 days ago. I didn't get to say goodbye because it was against the law and would have been dangerous for us both. But I will miss her forever.

If there is a show July 4th, and that remains to be seen, there's going to be a really big hole in the seat next to me. Sleep tight my friend. I dedicate my future wellness to YOU.

"There goes my hero, watch him as he goes. There goes my hero, he's ordinary." - Dave Grohl
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