My Strong, Good, Courageous, Positive-Thinking, Magical Marvelous Friend! Part I

As soon as the call came through, the airplane cabin was flooded with light coming through my window

There is nothing quite like that call.
When someone is not well, or elderly, or in hospice care, and you get that call from their next of kin.
It may come in the form of a voicemail, their saddened shell-shocked voice asking simply to return the phone call. And of course, you know what’s happened, but they feel it’s impolite to leave such potentially devastating news on a voicemail.
And they are right about that.
It is certainly better to deliver such news in person.
It may come as a voicemail message delivering the news and requiring no return call, ‘She’s gone.’ I’ve been on the receiving end of that one, as well.
It may come as the name of their next of kin lights up on your cell phone screen, and you answer it, even as you are seated on a plane about to take off…
That’s what happened this time.
“This is the call you’ve been waiting for,” she began, her voice a combination of the triumph and weariness of Acceptance, when one has completed that final Journey with a Loved One.

My friend had been in hospice care for several weeks —
My Strong, Good, Courageous, Positive-Thinking, Magical Marvelous Friend!
My Incredible Friend who was so shy about social media and asked to never have pictures of herself posted here.
I shall not go against her wishes, now.
Ah, but how I wish I could show you!
How I wish I could show you the photograph of the time when she started chemotherapy and was so sad about beginning to lose her hair so I asked our friends driving us all to see her to stop at a party store along the way so that I could buy a half-dozen crazy wigs — all kinds of whacky colors and hair styles — purple shags and yellow strands and rainbow afros… and we all put them on and gave her and her husband wigs too.
OH, how she Laughed!
I think of that as the Laugh heard around the World!

I wish I could show you the photos of her when we all got together — we had been friends in High School — We were President and Vice-President, our senior year, and her mother had saved our campaign posters in the basement — she took them out again, our names spelled out in the bright poster paints and glitter of the 1970’s! Long Banners, and the two of us, 35 years later, standing with our teenage dreams unfurled.
And our politics never stopped.
And she was Brilliant!
So Smart!
So Wise!
So Fair!
Not at all like what we see in Congress today, which so deeply disturbed her, as it does all of us!
But she was able to be So Classy about it! I tend to be more angry and loud!
She was able to hear all points of view.
She Listened.
Have you noticed how few people possess that skill?
She had it in such a big way!
She didn’t just hear you. She Listened.
She never responded unless she had first taken in what you said.
And from that, she would formulate her response.
Always So Gracious.
So Calm and Level Headed.
And So Good at taking care of Every Thing — Every Detail.
Even from her bed in hospice, so meticulous with instructions,
And so many people who Loved her — So many people to carry out those instructions.
So many people showed up, knitting quietly, or pacing or telling jokes to cheer her up…
Her Wonderful HUSBAND with her every moment, and her SISTER, and her MOM, and an endless army of FRIENDS…

She was So Positive!
Last year, my Partner and I attended our first Abraham-Hicks Cruise.
We had known of Abraham-Hicks for some time — it is mostly about Law of Attraction and Positive Thinking.
We shared it with ERIKA and she wholeheartedly embraced it all, signing up for the Daily Quote — a big step for someone so not into technology.
From then on, she would remind us, ‘I think Mr. Abraham would tell us to look at that differently.”
Or “As Mr. Abraham would think of it, there are lots of really good things about this!”

A Sample Message from ERIKA


Another Sample Message, later on — Her spirit continued to shine brightly, even as her physical heath diminished

When ERIKA was in Hospital this last time, I visited and she asked me about work.
My DAD had passed away a few years back.
A Very Large Work Project came to me sometime later — it is all about the neighborhood and the time period in which my DAD grew up.
I see this project as a Gift from him.
Whenever anyone asks me, “You really think this project is going to go forward — I mean, go all the way?”
I reply, “I don’t think. I Know!”
I told ERIKA this story in response to her question.
She Listened.
Then her eyes opened wide and looked directly into mine.
“And I Know because You Know,” she told me.
And we shared a very Beautiful moment of Enlightenment.

She and I often talked about Life in the non-physical realm — after we depart our physical bodies.
At the end of that visit, I took her hand and whispered, “Have a Fun and Wonderful Adventure!” expecting that she might respond, “I will!”
But she surprised me, responding most assuredly, “I Am!!”

She kept a positive outlook throughout
Which was So Inspiring!
— Even after being diagnosed with an inoperable perforation in the abdomen.
When the hospital’s hospice team came in and asked her how she’d like to proceed, they told her that they could offer home-hospice care, or in-hospice care, or they could keep her on antibiotics, and without the surgery which she would have been too weak to withstand by that point, there was a one-in-a-million chance that she might survive it.
She agreed.
“Home-Hospice?” they asked.
No, she refuted, even from her weakened state. “The medication!”
“Home-Hospice?” they asked again, nodding assuredly to encourage her.
She Listened.
They didn’t, but she did.
Then she spoke quite directly, “I sense some judgment from you about this.”
“What? No,” they responded. “There is no judgment from us.”
“Yeah, there is,” she told them.
“You are trying to force a hospice option on me, and if I understand correctly what you have told me, I have three options: Certain Death, Certain Death, and a One-in-a-Million Chance at Life!”
Recounting the story to me, she asked in deep earnestness, “How could anyone choose any other option in a case such as this!?”

Imagine to Love Life SO MUCH!
Imagine to Value it that way — to that degree — to be Willing to go to any length and withstand any amount of pain just to Hold On to it!
Imagine the Gratitude to so fully Appreciate a Gift so Great!
She had this.
Would that we all had that same Deep Appreciation of this Most Precious Gift that we hold!

My friend followed the News Stories.
She had been Editor of our High School NewsPaper in what seems like 4 minutes ago, not four decades ago!
When her body could no longer withstand the antibiotics, and she transitioned to hospice, she kept CNN on the tv screen on the wall in front of her.
The Courage of Dr. Christine Blakey-Ford and the Over-Privileged White FratBoy Hearing was one of the last News stories she was able to follow.
She Listened.
What an example she would have been to so many Senators who lack that skill — GRASSLEY, GRAHAM, and MCCONNELL chief among them.
What a much Better Senator she would have made!

This week, I was on board a flight from LaGuardia Airport.
The Call came through just as we were leaving the gate for the runway.
I saw her sister/caretaker’s name light up on the screen.
I took a moment. I took a breath. I answered. I Listened.
“This is the Call you have been waiting for,” she said.

My friend, I see you and I feel you everywhere!
When I turn on my phone, in the words I see.

I opened Facebook when I got off the phone, and these words from someone’s post greeted me — I couldn’t help feeling they were from ERIKA

In the technology organizer gift that you gave me.

In the Music that plays on my phone, unexpectedly..

Light reflecting off the wing of the plane, lighting up the cabin through our window

Out the window of the airplane, the sea of endless sky,
In the Dazzling Light that You are!

Now, I Know because You Know.

The view from the airplane window — Infinity

# # #

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