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Odd day...

 
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Location: Coastal Texas
PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:15 am    Post subject: Odd day... Reply with quote

What had been my favorite bar/restaurant/jazz club for about four years was run by two people I've come to know and be friends with. Dharma Cafe. A great little place and a genuinely odd couple. He, "Hippie John"...she, Susan the tyrannical tough as nails uuuuu. Both good people. They sold the business after she had a round of breast & liver cancer three years ago. She opted not to go through radio & chemo and instead did some new hormone therapy. All was fine as she was in remission with the tumors shrinking. Then, about three months ago it came back. With a vengeance. Went quickly into her brain & spine leaving her unable to walk or speak to any degree. Shortly after my return from France, John sent me a note indicating that it did not look good. Last week he again emailed me saying she was pretty much gone as far as being herself. I contacted him yesterday and said I would come by today at noon. I got to their home about 12:15 only to find her virtually comatose and only taking a ragged, fluid sounding breath about once every 30 seconds. Ten minutes later her breathing simply stopped. What could I say.

I'm glad I was there for John and know it won't really hit him for a while as he will no doubt be busy for a few days. Death can be a bureaucratic nightmare. When her son Brad arrived twenty minutes later, he too was noticeably absent from the moment and will also no doubt deal with it in his own time and his own way.

Odd day indeed. I was utterly unmoved.

I went from there to work on my bus. What else can one do but go on.

I let both John and Brad know that as you get older, you become more accustomed to it. Death, that is. Saying goodbye. Letting go. The act of old friends leaving other old friends behind. That's just how it goes. I have seen death up close often enough that I have a comfort with it. A peace. It is nothing more than the ultimate conclusion to every life. No matter how hard we might try to ignore or rage against it. Funny thing is, if you are among the very lucky, you will have the opportunity to see all of your friends die and you'll be left alone with no one who knows you around to mourn your passing or raise a proper toast. Ain't that a hoot.

I therefore advise the living...make a plan & put together a playlist of music you wish to be played at your wake. My personal preference is for a party to be held. Let those who remain behind waiting their turn raise a cup while they can and find a little joy in the moment.

As an old timer once offered..."Son, live every day as if it is your last. And you know what?...One of these days you'll be right."

Se la vie my friends. Se la vie.
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