Yesterday, my dear friend’s husband, TimO, died. Eighteen months ago, he was diagnosed and successfully treated for melanoma and lymphoma. TimO received a clean bill of health and went back for a check-up this past summer. They did a CAT scan and found metastases to the liver and the brain. Not good, really not good. TimO worked as long as he could, but in the last couple of weeks he deteriorated rapidly: loss of cognition, voluntary movement, and bodily functions.
I called my friend, Sulialto, yesterday morning around 9:00 a.m. to say hello. She sounded tired but alright, accepting the fact that TimO was almost gone. She kept him at home, with wonderful help from family and friends. I offered to bring her dinner last night, and she gratefully accepted. At noon, another singer friend, Birdy, called to tell me that TimO died at 10:45 a.m. I could hardly process that TimO had been alive at 9:00 and gone just a few minutes later. So sad.
The rest of the day found me in the kitchen, cooking and packing up food to take to Sulialto. Birdy told me, “She said she needed some good Jew food today.” Jew food? Pretty funny. I didn’t have Jew-food ingredients readily available, but I did make her a turkey meatloaf, homemade mashed potatoes and lemon bars. I brought a salad and some dressing, too.
I picked up the boys at school, dropped Wizard at Hebrew School, and drove back across town to deliver the food. Wild Thing and Moose were with me and helped me bring the things in. I told them to sit on the couch and wait for me. They sat like perfect gentlemen; no one realized they were there until I went looking for them. [puffed up and proud] “They” introduced themselves to Sulialto and her family. Sulialto’s mother, MJ, was wonderful and showed the boys the Christmas tree. That tree absolutely enchanted them; they had never seen one up close before.
We fought rush hour traffic and arrived home to find WineGuy knee-deep in grated potatoes. He decided to make latkes for dinner … without telling me of course. I cleaned up the mountain of dirty dishes and pots I’d left earlier. Then, I had to turn around and pick up Wizard from Hebrew School and make a stop for more oil for the latkes. Finally got back home and had dinner — but I wouldn’t eat the latkes. I turned in early last night.
I am struck by the evanescence of life. TimO was here one moment and gone the next. WineGuy was fine one day and nearly had a stroke the next. So, why doesn’t he appreciate how fragile life is? Why does he have to be so bull-headed about what we all went through? I wish I knew.
Requiescat in pace, TimO. Sulialto, Flute Girl (her daughter), and MJ, may you all be comforted in your grief and commended in TimO’s dignified death.