Thursday, august 18th.
Well, actually, It began for me on tuesday. my husband had gone out to get a hair cut and I was alone in the house and I felt a profound sense of grief that brought me almost to my knees as I sobbed. I couldn't explain it, only that I knew something was wrong. I thought, perhaps that maybe I hadn't said goodby, drive safe to my husband- or something, and I actually got my shoes on, and figured out his path and we went out for lunch, just because I needed to be with him and I couldn't explain why.
It wasn't until thursday that I found out the reason for my grief.
to understand it all, you have to go back almost 40 years. 6th grade had just begun for me and the school that I was in had merged with another bringing in 30 new kids, one of them being a pudgy girl with dishwater red hair and large glasses. We became fast friends- sisters- for many years, and when we graduated, (me being the one with the car) we went everywhere, with me driving, and I didn't mind it, it was- just- something that I could do. We even dated the same guys in highschool (not at the same time though, we waited a year)
I went off to the community college, and then got a job, and she went off to buisness school. In retrospect, I knew that her certificate was 1/2 the education that I had, but I didn't press the issue when she decided to attend the same school I did a year after I graduated. She would take the bus to work, and when we went out, I still drove.
I was there when she fell in love and was going to get married and I was there when things fell apart for her and I listened to her go on about her ex, and I tried to be a supportive friend.
It was in the late 80s that I went back to school to get a 4 yr degree and I made friends with a young man that I introduced my best friend to. Things got a bit hinkey after that. When we went over to his home, I drove. I don't know if he finally convinced her to get a car - but even with the brand new car in the drive way, I still ended up taking her over and I didn't mind.
Until my car died on me. It would be a good 2 weeks before I could get one to replace it, and when I asked her to pick me up, (as she was now driving,) it became an *issue*.
and then, I found out that the gang was getting together, and she had told them that I wasn't coming. I was pretty hurt. I would have come if I had transportation, and she had to pass my home to get there, I felt as if she had only used me for all those years as a taxie service, and I wrote her a brief note asking for us to get together to discuss things.
It didn't go well. I was totally blindsided by her off the wall comments about how I was using her and it didn't make sense to me.
When we parted, it was difficult. We didn't speak for an entire year. I went on with my life, my work, and the guys that I dated, and when her grand mother died, I did go to the funeral. When her father died a few months later, I went , and when her grand father died, I went, and I offered my support to her.
I went through thyroid cancer, and I wished she would have been there to help me deal with things, but, she stayed distant.
When my grand mother died, she was absent. I could have used her support, and I knew she knew about it, but she chose not to come. It wasn't until after that that I learned the young man that I had introduced her to had taken psychology classes and had been manipulating her by telling her lies to see what would happen. And it would be much later that I would be able to see her in public, and tell her what he had said, She was totally in love with him and hoped that he would marry her.
I think, I had been hurt so deeply, that I couldn't bring myself to speak with her, or try to rekindle the friendship we had had. I had felt - used. and discarded, and everything I had accomplished in my life, she wanted, she followed.
She would send cards, once in a while. just general christmas cards, maybe 5 over the last 12 years. I would wish her happy birthday with her email, and it was a strained relationship.
When I developed melanoma, I could have used a friend to talk to me, to keep my mind off of the pain. She had been told by my mother about what happened, but, she never bothered to come.
She never said "I am sorry for the pain we have been through" though I did say it.
She did come to my fathers funeral, and promptly sat with the one friend who came to comfort me, and drew them into conversation so that I sat alone.
Everyone said what a sweet girl she was. Maybe I saw her as a user. Maybe- I don't know. I couldn't release the hurt in my heart, the feeling of betrayal, and I knew no matter what I said, it wouldnt change things, so, I stayed away, and I waited.
I didn't tell her I was getting married. My mother did, and I know maybe there had to have been hurt there, but, I was dealing with not inviteing another friend simply because the wedding was limited to family, a few co workers and immediate neighbors. I only had one friend there, my made of honor. even thought it was my own wedding. My hubbys friends were all out of state. I could have overwhelmed the event with friends, but it wouldn't have been fair to him.
in 2008, at the class reunion I learned that she had been ill. Pretty serious ill, and that her immune system was responsible. She was better, and back at work, and I listened to her go on about the tubes and breathing treatments, and I wanted to speak with her more the following day, but she didnt come.
I was able to keep in contact with her briefly through the class reunion page, and befriended her on face book, and to my defence, I didn't know you could go back to older posts. I had only just begun to face book in late december, she had been doing it for a while.
her last post to the group was that a classmate had died, and that you never knew how long, or short your life was going to be. That was posted in july of this year.
Thursday my mother called me early in the morning. The young man that had driven a wedge between us had called and had been trying to get ahold of me, No one seemed to remember my married name.
She had died on wensday. He went on about her liver transplant failing and she had been on dialyisis, and every organ just shut down.
It was a shock to me as she was only 50. I hadn't been informed that she had been through all of that, and it explained nothing, but only raised more questions. It wasn't like she was sitting at home, She had a group of friends she would call and they would do things, She never asked or told me and even with everything going on, I still would have been there. I still would have made time for her.
I spent the rest of the morning letting others know about what had happened, and the arrangements that had been made.
at the funeral home I learned that she had gone to the movies on last thursday with the young man, and she seemed fine, and on monday she woke and was disorented. they took her to the local hospital who said they didnt take care of transplant pts and they sent her to another hospital and on tuesday, they made the decision to remove her from life support.
Perhaps, that was the grief that I felt, as the time they did it, and what I had felt, was the same time.
and yet, again, she follows me... her grave is a meer 20 yards from where the graves of my father and uncle are, and where I had purchased property (a set of 2 graves) I knew her grand parents were up there and according to her brother, the plots were avalible. Its one of the most expensive sections in the cemetary, and I can't fathom that she would randomly pick that spot and not one near where her father was. it will never make sense to me I guess.
So, The question that is in my heart now, is,
there is another person from school that I know, who has asked to go out- to - hang- out, She is on her second ex husband, and in school she had tried to get every guy I ever dated (her sister did pull a ex bf stunt, so, it's been a bit tense with conversations)
I can't make up the lost time. I can't bring her back, and all I can do is go to her grave side and yell and cry.
the question is, do I go? do I make a difference, even if in email?
I am not a social person. I don't - go out for going out sake, I work too many hours and I become irritable like a little kid sometimes. those who know me, know this, my friends understand this.
Do I go? do I not go?
Do i simply, fade away?
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