Wednesday, August 03, 2005

One Year Anniversary and ILYJ

One year ago today was my very first entry into my diary/blog. I started it in diaryland, but moved to blogger sometime earlier this year. I started my diary because I had just found out that my very good friend had been given a week to live and was leaving the hospital to die at home, and I needed to vent. I was beside myself as I hadn't been expecting that, although I probably should have, and I was not quite ready to say good-bye to Jess. One of the things I remember best about that day is the e-mail exchange I had with my BAB (born-again brother). I asked that he pray for Jess as he had been given a week to live. Now, I don't know about you, but if someone asks me to pray for someone I don't put conditions on my agreement. I just say, "Sure thing." And add the person to my prayers. The BAB's return e-mail read: "I'm sorry to hear that. What kind of relationship did Jess have with God?" ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME???? Okay, I didn't say that, but bloody hell, I fucking wanted to. I replied, "I know his wife is very involved in her church and was the secretary before they got married. I believe that Jess is comfortable with his relationship with God." Jess was not a church-goer, per se, but he was a good person with a beautiful heart and soul. BAB's reply: "What kind of church does his wife attend?" I think I banged my head on my desk at this point, but sent back, "I believe she's Presbyterian." He consented with: "I shall pray that Jess has accepted Jesus Christ our Lord as his savior before he dies." Well, thanks fucking much for that! Yeah, I was pissed and as you can tell, I'm still pissed. He couldn't have just prayed that Jess die painlessly or with strength and dignity or that his last few days be as comfortable as possible, etc.????

I called my friend Rick up immediately because he comes from a BA family so he would understand. I was completely venting at him and he said, "I understand completely." And similar such things. Then he said, "You better not ever ask your brother to pray for me, because I'm afraid I wouldn't measure up." The sad thing is that BAB is supposed to be a friggin' Christian! That's not my definition of a Christian, but I believe in a God of Love, not a God of wrath.

HRH and I left the next day for Road America but called Jess' wife to see if we could stop in and see him on our way. P was up for that and she said Jess was too, so we drove to their little town southwest of Chicago and stayed five minutes down the road in a Super 8. We were supposed to see them around 9:00 a.m. Thursday and then be on our way. While getting ready that morning, my phone rang. It was our friend Paula in NC calling to tell us that Jess had passed that morning. It still breaks my heart that he couldn't hold on long enough for me to say good-bye and that I loved him. I know he knew though, because we had never been the type of friends not to tell each other, probably because we had already lost a number of our little racing group. And I had sent daisies to him the day he came home from the hospital and they were placed where he could see them. I had sent my dear adopted Dad daisies the day his wife called me to tell me Dad had been given a week to live. Unlike Jess, Dad actually lasted the full week. One Saturday I was calling all of our friends to let them know that this time the cancer was going to win (he had fought cancer twice before the final bout) and the following Saturday I was calling everybody to let them know it had happened. It was a sucky two Saturdays. I ended up at the neighborhood bar because I didn't want to be alone, and I most definitely was that in San Francisco where I lived at the time. I rarely feel lonely here in Detroit, but in SF I was very much alone and a lot of times lonely, especially the first year or so. I found it extremely difficult to make friends in San Francisco. I think it had to do with the transient nature of the City – people constantly moving there and then realising how fucking expensive it is and then they leave. I think this leads people who live there to be careful making friends with new people because God only knows how long they're going to last.

I was unable to go to Dad's funeral as he lived in New Hampshire, but P scheduled Jess' funeral for Monday so after the race on Sunday HRH and I made our way back to small-town Illinois and we represented the rest of our friends who couldn't make it.


At Wednesday, 03 August, 2005, Blogger Erica said...

Hi, Kathleen -

Thanks for sharing these very personal memories. I'm sorry you started an online diary for such an occasion, but I'm glad to 'know' you because of it.

I too just pray for people who ask me to. Not later, but right then. (I don't drop to my knees and hold hands with them or anything, but still.) And I don't care if they are card-carrying Christians or if they attended the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel or just didn't believe in God at all... because obviously, if they don't believe in God, they need our prayers all that much more, right?

Anyway. Off my soapbox. Happy Birthday to your blog. :-)

At Wednesday, 03 August, 2005, Anonymous Suzy said...

Sweetie, thanks for sharing your memories with us. It was very moving. ~hugs~

And congrats on your blogiversary!


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