Monday, December 28, 2009

My 63rd Christmas...

I haven't posted anything for awhile. I've gone through some tough times recently, but not as tough as a friend of mine. Do any of you have a friend that has been around forever? One who was there from day one? Well, I have and he called me last week with some horrible news. It mortified me with grief and I haven't been the same since hearing it. When I was 10 years old, I was sitting in my house waiting for the Hebrew school bus for my first day of Hebrew school. The old panel van pulled up and it was loaded with kids and one of the kids on my bus was a kid named Barry. We started talking, I think about baseball and became fast friends. Here it is 53 years later and we're still talking, not so much about baseball anymore, but about the important things in life, children, politics, finance, life's experiences.
Last week, the call went something like this. It was late, after 9 PM in Florida where he lives and the call came from his cell phone, another oddity. I answered and immediately asked what's wrong? He told me he was sick, that he was in the hospital and he has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. On a routine visit to the doctor to get his blood pressure medication adjusted, the doctor gave him a routine exam and when he poked him in the stomach, it was extra tender, which lead to an ex-ray, then a cat scan and an ultra sound. They found he had a mass on his cecum, the area between the upper and lower intestines and it had already spread to his liver, spine and lungs. They immediately scheduled surgery to remove the mass, leaving him with a colostomy. As soon as he's feeling better, they'll start chemo therapy, but it's just to prolong things as much as possible. He's likely to be gone in a year, but who knows? Some things just aren't fair. The only good news is that he's dealing with it in a mature way and just accepting what he's been told. No denial or poor me's. He's a realist and realists accept their destinies.
As an added bonus for Christmas, I was getting ready for Christmas Eve, MJ cooked a prime rib I was looking forward to. I was just putting some finishing touches on an ad I was placing in the Autotrader, when suddenly I felt pretty nauseated and my mouth started watering like, like, like I was gonna puke! I don't remember my feet even touching the ground as I flew to the restroom. There I grabbed the bowl and called to RALPH as loudly as I could, wondering what in the hell just happened. I'd had a headache for the past couple of days, but I figured it was just an aneurysm and would either kill me or get better. I never figured on the FLU! I just paid for one of those Walgreen Flu Shots and figured I was covered, but it was the wrong kind of flu. So I hugged the bowl, yelling to RALPH and BOB all night, until it started for the opposite end. MJ called right in the middle of it all and I explained I wasn't coming over for dinner. She understood and offered to come and get me and take care of me through my flu bout, but there are some things a man likes to do by himself, particularly when they are about 2 opposite ends. So I took a metal bowl to bed with me and went to sleep about 8:30 on Christmas Eve.
Christmas day, after about 12 hours of sleep, I forced myself to drive to MJ's to have Christmas with her. She bought me a ton of great stuff and I felt like a 12 year old kids opening all of my presents. She got me all clothes and I got the distinct impression that she felt my own wardrobe was lacking.......... humph!
Somewhere in the confusion of Christmas, I managed to sell the Chicago car. That's the Toyota that I flew back to Chicago to get. The one that I pushed Linda out of the window of and drove home alone. I held onto that car long enough to scare myself, thinking that I didn't have the insight that I thought I'd had and just maybe I paid too much for it. But fortunately someone came along and bought it, affording me a little cash flow, just in time for Christmas.
So, all and all things went okay, but then I remember poor Barry and get depressed all over again......

2 comments:

Randi said...

So very sorry to hear the news of Barry...youre a good friend.

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