With fingernails that shine like justice...

and a voice that is dark like tinted glass, she is fast, thorough and sharp as a tack. She is touring the facility and picking up slack...

Monday, September 26, 2005

Thanks and Good Bye, Linda

I remember commenting on someone's blog ( I think it was Snarky) about not seeing or hearing from friends for a long time...about how wonderful it was when you were close enough to just pick up where you left off...

Thats kinda what happened.

I got a call from a friend who I hadn't spoken to since college. She was just calling to touch base...to reconnect...to say things that she didn't want left unsaid. She told me that our friendship in college meant a lot to her and that she wanted to thank me. She thought it important for me to know the impact I had on her life.

I was blown away. Speechless. I never thought that the craziness that surrounded me at that time in my life was good for anyone. I was a lunatic, after all. I thanked her...told her she was a very good friend to me when many had written me off, and that I always hated going out with her because she was "the pretty one" and guys only talked to me, to get to her. We laughed. We cried. We talked about old times and old friends. We talked about marriages and children(she had three of one and none of the other). She had had an exciting life since college. It was a great conversation.

Then she got quiet, and told me why she had actually called.

She was diagnosed with an aggressive form of stomach cancer, called leather bottle cancer, and was not given long to live.... And she wanted to see me.


I was floored. Devastated at the news, and absolutely touched by her words, I couldn't say no.

I arrived in Pittsburgh two days later. We spent almost a week together... just talking, playing cards and watching movies. Mostly talking. And sleeping. She slept a lot.

My friend slipped into a coma two days before I was supposed to leave. She died the day I was set to go home, so I stayed and helped her mother with arrangements.

It was a beautiful funeral. I got to meet her three ex-husbands, who all spoke at the service.

What I find most amazing about her is the profound gratitude she had for her life. She never seemed angry or self pitying. I think I would have drowned in the "why me?s". She was at peace with life and with dying. And I was honored to be a part of it.

I made a promise to her. I would call everyone who I thought had an impact on my life....and I would tell them. It has been a beautiful experience... One I was glad to share with my family, friends and everyone I call...and now you.

Thanks and Good Bye, Linda.