Archives for posts with tag: friends

Donna Louise here shivering as the cold air swirls through the house. This morning a cloudburst at 3:30 a.m. sent me scurrying outside in my pajamas to put out my rain collection tubs. It’s force of habit. With very little rain this last spring and summer, I took to putting out plastic tubs to collect rainwater from the downspout next to the porch. My rain barrels in the back and my tubs of rain water saved many of my plants from the scorching temperatures of the summer and the lack of any large amount of rain.

There I was in my driveway with my plastic tubs hoping that the 3 a.m. bar crowd in the ‘hood had made it home so they wouldn’t see me. As luck would have it, the drinkers didn’t show, but the newspaper delivery van caught me bent over making sure I got maximum rain collection by the correct placement of my tubs. He shined his spotlight on me.

“You okay?”

I stood up and turned around so he could see me sans make-up and with bed hair. I thought I heard a scream. “Yes, I’m fine. I’m collecting rain water. Thanks for checking.”

“No problem, ma’am. You should get inside so you don’t get wet.”

Before I could say something about only standing in the rain so I could talk to him, he drove off down the street throwing the Sunday paper on wet sidewalks. That big splat as the paper landed on the walks made me laugh.

It was about seventy degrees outside—unseasonably warm—so I opened all the windows in the house, cooked Italian sausage and onions, fried an egg, buttered my toast and had breakfast…all before 4:30 a.m.

Ready to face the day I sat down at my computer to read my emails. Noma returned to the hospital, according to an email from Albert. Her pain had reached such severity that she needed treatment at the hospital. He asked that we hold positive thoughts for her.

I’m glad he didn’t ask for prayers. I don’t do prayers and I certainly don’t pray for any specific outcome. How do I know what the best solution to a problem is? I don’t. Is it better for Noma to suffer more or to find peace in death?

After watching several friends deteriorate from chronic illnesses, suffer from pain, undergo barbaric treatments to stop their cancers from growing, I quit praying for healings. It’s magical thinking that some being would wave his/her magic wand and heal my friends. A lifetime of observation had led me to the belief that those kinds of prays never work anyway.

I will hold Noma in my thoughts. I’ll fix a meal for Albert and take it by the house and ask if he needs anything to ease his suffering as her life partner and primary caretaker. Sometimes people want to talk or cry. If Noma wants visitors, I’ll stop by the hospital to spend some time being with her. No one should have to suffer alone unless they prefer that.

 his last week, someone asked me, “How can you plan Thanksgiving with so many of your friends sick with cancer?” I thought about that for a few days before I called her back with my answer.

“How can I not plan a Thanksgiving with all the people I love who make my life richer, who struggle like I do to live good lives, who prove time and again the strength of the human spirit? How could Igive in to depression in the light of their lives? I can’t. On Thanksgiving I’ll celebrate and give thanks for all those people by having them over for dinner. Next year some of us may not be here. Are you coming?”

She said, “What? And miss the chance to hang with a group of such exceptional people? I’ll be there.”

I make little cards with the names of people (living and dead) who can’t be with me at Thanksgiving (actually I do that for all the holidays) and set them on an altar. On that special day, I read their names and remember what they looked like and what they mean(t) to me before I give thanks for knowing or having known all of them. Each of you will be on my altar this turkey day.

Now, before I have to break out the tissues to wipe my teary eyes, I’ve got to close all the windows as the temperature has dropped significantly. Today I’ll spend putting all the summer clothes back in storage because the cold of late fall is upon us…again.


Donna Louise here preparing Mikey’s favorite dish:  scalloped potatoes and pork chops. He deserved something for all his efforts to find me a car. He bought it and fixed it up and then saved my life. Oh, yes, I almost forgot to finish the story of Elvira Sussman jabbing me with a needle.

After I recovered from the effects of the shot, Mikey told me what happened. He’d driven up as Elvira and her two cohorts loaded me in the trunk.

“I knew something was wrong when I saw you face down in the trunk and these two strange women grabbing your legs and trying to get them in the trunk too. It’s a good thing you’re limber from yoga or they could have hurt you. I said to myself, ‘My girl don’t play that.’”

His powers of observation sometimes frighten me. I can’t remember the last time I was face down in a trunk—uh, never mind. That’s another story for another time.

Mikey played out the drama. “I slammed on the brakes, jumped out and took aim with my S&W 357 Magnum. Those women recognized a powerful gun when they saw one.”

“I made them pull you out of the trunk and lay you in the driveway. Like a fool, I lost track of one of the women and she clobbered me with a rock from your native plants garden. I told you to take those rocks out of there. They’re dangerous.”

“Mikey, they’re native and add legitimacy to my garden.”

He rubbed the side of his head. “Man, that hurt like hell. I stumbled and fell down next to you, but I never dropped my gun.”

“What happened then?”

“They ran to their car and peeled out. You’ve got an inch of tire rubber in front of your driveway. But I got their license number. I gave it to Hippolyta to have one of the SISsies run it. We’ll track her down. At this rate we’ll have the whole WICKED gang before long.”

I grabbed Mikey and hugged him. “You’re my hero, you big strong man.” I love to fluster him.

He blushed “Aw shucks, that’s what friends are for.” He paused. “Don’t do it. Please don’t do it.”

But it was too late. Given a musical cue, I sing. “In good times…”