Saturday, June 20, 2009

You've Got a Friend.....

.....Ain't it good to know that you've got a friend......

It's amazing to me how a smell, a sound, a lyric, can transport someone back to a completely diffferent time in their lives. Oh, the innocence of youth.
In the 8th grade I made a friend that I thought I would have for life. My parents divorced when I was in 12th grade and she was there to see me through. As most high school teenagers do (mostly girls) we would write each other notes back and forth, even after we saw each other all day and talked to each other on the phone. The song, "You've Got a Friend" was "our song" and we included the lyrics frequently on the notes that we would write back and forth dealing with our teenage angst. We were there for each other through some painful break-ups and eventually stood up for each other at our weddings. We had children close in age and we were often guests at her house for BBQ's and swimming in her pool.
..."People can be so cold, they'll hurt you, and desert you, they'll take your soul if you let them, don't you let them, You just call out my name, and you know wherever I am, I'll come running to see you again....
These days, girls use the term BFF. That's what we weer I guess, then Alzheimer's Disease stepped into the picture. My friend who would be there for me "no matter what" just couldn't handle AD. I was, and still am, terribly hurt by this.
I think of my friend often, as I did again this morning when I heard this song playing on my car radio. My carefree High School days all came flooding back to me, along with thoughts of my friend that I thought I would never lose.
My dad passed away in July, 2004. He was my hero, my strength and my rock and it was a DEVASTATING loss to me. That winter, I got a call from my friend's husband to tell me that her dad had just passed away. Strange how her husband called me with the news, I guess she felt somewhat guilty that she hadn't spoken to me in 3 years. I explained to him that I could understand fully since I had just gone through the same thing myself. At that point my friend got on the phone. We talked for a while and I decided, out of respect for our past relationship, that I would pay her and her family a shiva call. When I stepped into her mom's home that night, I felt as though I was in a time warp. My friend seemed genuinely pleased that I had come, and we made some small talk for a while. Keep in mind it had been approximately 3 years since I had seen her. She told me how bad that she felt that she hadn't kept in touch. Another friend of hers even told me that my friend walked around with the Newsday article that was written about us, but she didn't have the "strength" to read it. When I left that night, she PROMISED that she would call, for sure, and we would go out and "catch up". That was 5 years ago and I'm still waiting for her phone call.
Sadly, I believe Alzheimer's Disease alienates alot of people, and I am not alone in my loneliness.

You've Got a one time, yes I did.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Courtney graduated on June 7, 2009. This is our family portrait: Courtney, Me, Brandon and Mike. Mike is appropriately wearing his "Mr. Incredible" T-Shirt - which speaks volumes. We hope to put clearer pictures up, as soon as Courtney downloads them. She has already told me that she will have to give me lessons before she leaves for school. I am somewhat computer illiterate :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

NYC at Dawn

For about 2 months, Courtney and her friends have been planning to go into NYC tonight for the free Shakespeare in the Park (at Central Park) play The Twelfth Night. The plan was that Courtney and her one friend were going to take the 4am train into the city and her other 2 friends were on another train and they would meet at Penn Station. Last night, the friend that she was supposed to go with, canceled. Courtney was willing to take the train by herself, but something gnawed at me all last night. This morning I got up at 3am and turned on the computer to get the train schedule. Courtney was set to take the 4:09 a.m. train into Penn Station. After some investigating, I decided what I needed to do. I took the 4:09 train with her to keep her company, since I was very concered about her being alone at the hour of the morning. We got to Penn Station at 4:52 a.m. and she met up with her friends. I then took the 5:22 a.m. train right back home and was back in bed for a little more rest at 6:15 a.m.

Sure, I guess it was a crazy thing to do. I guess I never realized how busy the train could be at that hour. I thought she would be the only nut on the train that early on a Saturday morning but I was wrong. Of course, once we got into Penn Station, it was like the middle of the day. When they say NYC is the city that never sleeps, they aren't kidding. The people I saw out at that hour were a weird bunch - they were obviously all up from the night before. What characters and what a world out there. I felt SO sheltered coming back home. SO much is going on in the world around us, but we never get the opportunity or time to experience/appreciate it. Being in Penn Station at 5:00 in the morning was quite an experience, one that I won't soon forget.

Oh yeah, after waiting on line for 8 hours, Courtney and her friends got 4th row to the play. She's not that interested in Shakespeare, but Anne Hathaway is starring in it. Now we're all praying it doesn't rain tonight. If it does, the play will be canceled and all this was for nothing - and she will have to do it all over again another day. Oh, to be 17 again........

After a short rain delay, the play went on and Courtney and her friends got to see the whole thing.

(The above picture is of Courtney (2nd from the left) and her friends after the play with Tony-nominated actor Raul Esparza.)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Without Fail

Without fail, everytime I become overwhelmed about tangible "things", something happens that makes me take a step back and think about what's really important. I have been so bogged down with Courtney's graduation and college "stuff", it was taking over my every thought. Time and money were the two issues consistently going through my mind. These were the two most important requirements for almost everything that needs to get done, but they are also the two things that I am missing the most.

Then on Tuesday the hospice nurse came over. She called me at work to tell me that Mike sounded congested. I got a little nervous, but was hoping it was nothing. He sometimes get this "gurgling" sound in his throat, but will then cough it up (it's been like this for 2 years now). I thought that's all it was. Today, after dropping Courtney off at school for her "Senior Send-Off" (her school famously doesn't have a prom. The night consists of a cruise around NYC with dinner and dancing), I came home to Mike having a 102.5 fever. Now it's a waiting game - will he need an antibiotic or is this just another "passing fever" which happens now and again with Mike for no reason?

Without fail, every time my thoughts are bombarded by our material needs, something happens to remind me about what is really important.