What does one do when they are horribly sad? When their best friend of 72 years is preparing to die?
What does one do?
Yesterday, Patty's husband, Bob called me to say that the CAT scan Patty had the day before showed that the chemo therapy had done nothing to abate her cancer. In fact things were worse. There was mention of chemo pills, but the statistics were poor to none that they would help.
And what's more Patty had talked to Bob and to her daughter and to her daughter in law, telling each one separately, that she was tired of fighting, tired of hurting, and tired of being afraid.
She said that she wanted to stop all measures, (that weren't working anyway) and to let go, and "to go to God".
I hadn't been allowed to come to visit my friend, those were her wishes. But this time Bob said to just come so I could say goodbye. He then told me to call just before I was to leave town. They live 30 miles from us. So I went to my office. I called the three clients I was to see that afternoon and cancelled their appointments. And then I got in the car to go and called Bob.
He said he was really. really sorry, but he asked Patty and again she reiterated that she did NOT want me to come. I felt crushed, but I had to honor her wishes. I don't understand why (exactly), I can only guess.
And my guess is that Patty is trying to protect me. She's always been the strong one in matters physical. When we were kids if I skinned my knee I'd pass out from the sight of my own blood. Really. I did this for years for many different things that caused me to panic.
Patty, on the other hand, was the one who came to help me get to my dental surgery appointments, stayed to change the bloody compresses afterwards, and held my hand. Granted I've been there for her when she's needed to talk (over the years) for this or that family issue or other such thing. We have truly been there for each other through thick and thin.
She just does NOT want me to watch her dying.
So I came home and cried;
and I sewed.
I had seen little dresses like these in a ritzy shop in Sonoma, CA last weekend and they sold for $62. I kid you not. So I got fabric out of my stash, buttons and ribbons, and little T-tops I got at a thrift store for $3 and whipped up these in a couple of hours! Our littlest grand daughter will be a "girlie girl" when she wears them. Patty would love them.
She's all about ruffles and bows!
This morning when I was checking for messages, looking to see if Bob had called with any news, I found I had some saved messages. Several of them were from Patty. One dated back to November of 2012. It was right before Thanksgiving and Patty wanted to talk. I'm sure I called her back. I don't know why I saved that message.
Then there some from just recently. One on June 1st after Patty had her diagnosis of lung cancer. She was thanking me for "being there" for her.
The last one on June 14th was Patty talking to me after her first Chemo treatment, telling me she was feeling well, good in fact, telling me that she loved me and thanking me for being there for her.
On the 19th of June there is a call from Bob telling me Patty was in the ER after her blood clot and heart attack.
No more messages saved after that. All calls have been between Bob and I.
But I have Patty's voice saved forever more. I have photos. And I have memories that date back to the 1940s.
Oh Patty, I am going to miss you so so so much.
I sent this last collage to Patty today, along with my goodbye letter. I hope she got to hear it. I hope so. But I know she knows how much I love her, and I know how much she loves me. And I hope soon, she will be at peace.