i have a friend that i used to work with in another incarnation. she sat next to me in a call center for several years and we laughed and cried our way through our work lives together during those years. i transferred out to san francisco at the turn of the century and we went our own ways. when i returned to denver in 2003, she called me up, got me a job, and loaned me some money to get a house going again. never mind that i was still fucked up with tina. never mind that i blew thru the money and pissed on the job. she remained a true friend and has a secure place in my heart.
about 7 years ago, she was diagnosed with parkinson’s disease. naturally it was mind-blowing for her, but i also know it was incredibly strange for all of us who care about her. she stopped working about 4 years ago and her health has been deteriorating since. she trembles religiously and her speech seems to be turning inward. as a friend i discussed earlier this evening, it is becoming impossible to connect to what is happening in her mind. she is feeble, she weighs 92 lbs, and she cannot care for herself at all. she painfully renders a memory of the incredible shrinking woman and it is nothing less than hard to ascend.
i have struggled with a way to spend time with her without having her sense my uncomfortability. i can’t understand her when she speaks, and she likes to chat. she loves to talk and i don’t comprehend and i wince when i ask “huh” too often or reply “oh” like i am following. it has been easier to avoid than confront my awkwardness. i haven’t allowed myself to cry about my friend for all these years.
yet tonight, i am told that she won’t be leaving the care facility she is in, except to transfer to a 24-hour place. her mother has been acting as caretaker, but is nearing 90 and that no longer makes sense. the physicality needed to care for someone losing their muscle control is plenty to underscore the need for a change. but i also realize that not coming home has a deeper relevance. my friend is drifting further away and she seems lost to me. and i haven’t been the friend i would like, i’ve just been the friend i can be right now. i have loved her, but have not shared that with her.
the story is not over. it’s simply going on. i am praying that i can tie up some loose ends and give away the feelings i have here. what may truly be a blessing here (all the way round) is if my love would come down. down from my head and flow thru my life.