Saturday, June 19, 2010

Death and Darn Near

I know everybody dies, but why does everyone have to dip their toes into holy water at the same time?

My hiking bud, Bob, had a stroke June 7, Uncle Don died June 11, and a friend has had zero access to her son for months due to her lying, controlling, abusive husband.

My mind, body, and spirit are wiped out, because I'm the type who soaks everyone's feelings into my depths. And now, after relaxing in the hot tub, I'm completely drained and sobbing. If only I had some wine.

Bob hadn’t been feeling well for a few days, probably because we hadn’t hiked nor seen each other since May 17 and he missed me terribly, so his doctor recommended the How Much Do I Miss Auntie test at the hospital. The result: He only missed me a little bit. The real culprit was a little sac, and it wasn’t between his legs.

“In humans the appendix is small and has no known function,” which describes a couple folks I used to know.

His appendix had ruptured, which I find strange because it involves the digestion of cellulose and he doesn’t eat anything even resembling cellulose. Salads and green food are against his religion. Maybe it ruptured from inactivity, so the resident doctor performed an appendectomy.

Three days later and still in Memorial Hospital, Bob had a stroke. I surmise that the five clots they found in his head might have formed because he was taken off his blood-thinning drug, but I’ve only played doctor.

He lost some right arm and hand control and can’t walk very well, but his strange Iowan sense of humor slowly spills from his mouth. I visit Bob every other day rather than daily—a little bit of me goes a long way—and assist when I can, but not in the can. No butt wiping for me. Working with the occupational therapist, I helped him shuffle to the bathroom, tubes hanging out of his body, hooked up to bags of liquid and measuring instruments. I later fed him soup. I just pray he recovers fully and quickly, or his wife said she’ll go nuts.

Uncle Don was 87 and had a good life. My aunt, 83, was a tennis pro, Christian singer and songwriter, and worked at a retirement home till last year. She called this eve and shared the touching story about her husband of 62 years. She’d found love notes she had given him and shared their sentiments. By the end of the conversation, I looked like Alice Cooper. She said it would mean a lot for me to be there. But, she noted, we wouldn't have one-on-one time and she has a very small home.

I have less than $150 in the bank, and even if I started selling my body now, I’m not sure I’d have enough for gas and a hotel…or next month’s insurance payments. But at times like these, money should be of no concern…till next month.

As for my gal friend, I pray and hope for pure love and healing to move through her life—and her son’s. Whether healing is emotional, spiritual, or physical, it makes breathing so much easier.

appendix definition from New Oxford American Dictionary


  1. So sorry about your friend and Uncle.

  2. Thank you, my dear friend. Tonight, Friday, is my uncle's memorial service in Mesa, Arizona, and the first full day friend Bob is back home from the hospital, and a safe day for my abused friend, because she lives now where her husband cannot harm her…I pray.


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