Sunday, December 13, 2015

Another Sad Goodbye

Friday is usually a pretty laid-back day around here as, but for a bevy of reasons, this past one was a bit of a mess. My Beloved - who is a full-time college student - had his one class canceled but had a few appointments to take care of. I also had some running around to to, so much of the early part of the day was spent just missing each other. Around lunchtime, he came home just as I was about to leave and handed me some pretty crazy news: he'd just found out that our friend Carmen died last month.

Wait...I just talked to her, I said. But when I raced to my phone to find our last text communication, I realized it was actually in October. I'd just seen her, though, I thought, in the grocery store with her daughter as I was shopping with my son. But my son reminded me that our short visit was actually in September. Instantly, I felt like THE worst friend in the world.

Carmen is the wife of our mechanic. Whenever something is up with any of my family's vehicles, she is usually the smiling face we see when we go to pick the cars up. She was as tall as I am (6'2") and ran in college just like me, so we always had athletic stuff to talk about. Always smiling, her love for her family was obvious, as something about at least one of her four children usually found its way into our conversations.

Since she restarted treatment, Carmen had been hospitalized a few times and I'd call/text to see if she needed anything or to chat. Once, she asked for lemon bars and sunflower seeds, which made me laugh. She had a knack for doing that.

But my "How ya doing?" calls turned into texts and the texts soon became fewer and further between. I flat out fell off. No excuse, really - other than life doing its thing. Blink and months passed, it seemed.

So Friday's news was like a punch in the gut. My own guilt aside, I kept thinking of her children and family now facing their first holiday season without her and I remembered the fear in her husband's voice when I'd talked to him that night she was admitted. Mostly, I remember being that family member and having to face that stone-cold reality that life as you know it will never be the same again.

That void that is left when someone close to you deteriorates and dies from any disease is never quite filled. I was 25, not 16 when my mom died and I have never lost a spouse to this disease, but I can empathize so very much. The idea of that raw pain so close to the surface is a hard one to fully fathom, but once you've been there, you understand it in a way that makes you hurt like nothing else really can. Hard to explain, but it is just the same.

Rest in Peace, Carmen.

1 comment:

ldk said...

I'm so sorry Felicia......this has been a year of unbearable loss.