Good-bye, my friend, Good-bye
Last Thursday was like any other day. I ran errands, worked out, went shopping and arrived home sometime during the mid-afternoon hour. As I’m talking with a friend, I notice a call coming in from my friend’s, Cathy, mom. She never calls, but I had just sent her a note about some jewelery she had sent me for Christmas and I thought, maybe, that’s why she was calling. When I listened to her message, it was clear something wasn’t right. She said she had been trying to get a hold of Cathy for several days and wanted to know if I had seen or heard from her. The previous weekend, I was in Houston at a friend’s wedding reception and the last time I talked with her was the Friday before I left, but had left her a message on Saturday about the computer I had brought in for her for repair. She left me a message either Sunday morning or afternoon and I later found out that another friend had seen her Sunday night.
I arrived at her house and saw the mail in the mailbox. While this isn’t unusual (Cathy normally got piles of EBAY beads or lots of circulars and catalogs), I still thought it odd that so much would be there. The Sunday paper was still on the porch, but, again, she often left it there — until the end of the week when she decided to retrieve it from the porch. As I turned the key and entered the house, it was incredibly still and quiet. Walking into the living room, I found her, on her couch and very still. I called out to her. There was no response. I knew, then, what the situation was and it was not good. I immediately called 9-1-1 and the emergency team arrived within minutes, but, I told the 9-1-1 operator that there was no need to hurry….her time was gone.
There are so many emotions that I’ve felt this past week — anger for her leaving so soon, guilt because I felt I could have done more to get her up and going, shame to think I may have enabled her eating by bringing her the things that she loved to eat. It all came to me like a huge snowball rolling down a very steep hill….and then the sadness set in. I cried (and still cry) to think that she was gone and a good friend would no longer be there to laugh with, tell stories with, and to listen to our hopes and wants from life. It was all gone.
Cathy had many health issues, but none that seemed to push her to make a change. While we all have our own thinking process, sometimes we miss the obvious and “hope” things will either go away or take care of themselves. I think this may have been a part of what was going on with Cathy. Living as a homebound person, Cathy was being afraid of going out for fear of what people would think about her appearance. Our plans (for the last several months) was for us to get to Walmart and for her to use a scooter so that she could experience what she had missed for so many years. Time and time again I’d make plans for us to go and she would make some kind of excuse as to why we couldn’t. I didn’t press her — it was her outing and she knew when it was right for her. The Walmart trip never happened.
The brief clip that you’re seeing is a glimpse of Cathy’s life. She was smart (a member of MENSA), funny, insightful and kind. She was grateful for help and hated to ask for it, but knew, without it, she wouldn’t get by. I’ll miss her, but know that she’s in a much better place…..pain free, happy and running up and down the aisles of Walmart….without the scooter.