Skip to main content

On This Day...

Today is a significant day for me. It was on this day 15 years ago, that I lost a friend - one of the best friends I've ever had. I write about him every year. I try not to talk about how he died, but how he lived. So today I'm going to start from the beginning...
When you're a kid, summer is a magical time filled with adventures and possibilities. When we finish school and get older, somehow that magic fades and we forget what it was like to be so young, carefree and optimistic. With age, it becomes a season instead of the adventure it once was. My last summer of magic and optimistic youth was the summer of '89.
That summer, my high school sweetheart dumped me for the 2nd consecutive summer (wanting the time to be free before the fall when he’d decide he wanted a girlfriend again). I was down in the dumps and a friend invited me to a party to try to cheer me up. She wanted me to meet her new boyfriend and said that he had a friend she knew I’d hit it off with. She’d been telling me about him for weeks and thought it was time I started seeing other people. I told her I had no interest in being fixed up, but I’d go to the party on the terms that I’d meet him and see for myself what I thought. I never could have known that it was on that day that my life would be forever changed.
Her boyfriend was my friend I started this post talking about - Jeff. We hit it off immediately. We were instant friends and behaved like brother and sister from the get go. To this day, I have never connected with a friend so instantly. He had 2 friends with him - one that I also was fast friends with and the other, was the friend my girlfriend wanted to fix me up with. He was a gorgeous blond, blue eyed charmer that I was instantly struck by. I remember the moment we met – I knew I was done for. My friend introduced us and I swear for a moment there was no-one else there but the two of us – it was like a scene from a movie. He took my hand, looked me straight in the eyes and repeated my name as if he wanted memorise it. He smiled as he did this and I was a goner. Throughout the rest of the day, when we weren’t together - he watched me and didn’t mind at all if I noticed. Needless to say, we also hit it off and I would spend the following 10+ years in love with him.
From that day, for the rest of the summer we were together – the five of us. We had a wonderful time - The last of the magical summers. By summer’s end – the three guys were leaving. Two, joined the service and Jeff took a job working with the military. For the following years the couples tried to survive long distance relationships and as friends, we all tried to survive the dramas of it all. The next time we were all together again was at Jeff's funeral 3 years later.
Jeff and I were always very close. He was like an overprotective brother who always looked out for me. I can't say this didn't have it's complications in the group dynamic, but he always had my best interest in mind. We had a strange connection that I was never able to explain. He always knew when I needed him (even when it had been months since we last spoke). I remember one night in particular - it was the middle of the night and I was awake and crying over my latest heartbreak with his friend. Jeff called me saying 'What's wrong - I felt like you needed me and had to call' He was calling from Hawaii. I couldn't believe it and just said - How do you do that?? How do you always know?? We spent the entire night talking and I can't say what a comfort he was. It was like that from the start and stayed that way until he died.
In 1992, a drunk driver ran a stop sign and hit the car Jeff was in. He had a massive head trauma and spent weeks in a coma. I didn't find out about the accident until he had woken up and went to see him as soon as I got the news. I spent the following few months visiting him nearly every day in the hospital and when he got well enough, I took him out on the weekends as well to try to help him feel normal again. When he woke up from the coma, he thought it was still 1989. He thought nothing had changed, but by that time everything had changed and it was hard for him to understand.
He was different after the accident, but to me it didn't matter. I almost loved him more for the person he became. Although he was almost child-like at times with a sweet innocence that only a head trauma could give (god he'd hate me saying that), he was still Jeff. I always described it as 'Jeff without the attitude.' He didn't hold back. He said everything he thought when he thought it and he told me he loved me a lot. His face lit up every time I walked into his room and he was an amazingly strong through his recovery.
We were really close through those months - Closer than ever. Then one day I got the call - he died in the middle of the night. A blood clot (he was aware of but never told me about) went from his brain to lungs. In an instant he was gone, but while he was here he lived better than most. He loved with no boundaries and he smiled more than anyone I've ever known. I will always miss him and I will always be grateful for the time we had while he was here.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Fight Club for Five Year Olds - Part 2

The other mother and I went into the school to meet with the teacher and the assistant head.  We both let them know how upset we were that we were not informed that our children were sent to the office and how much we were against the children being allowed to play fighting games on the playground.  I told them I wouldn't allow it at home and I'm really unhappy that it's being allowed at school.  They admitted it was a problem and explained that they are planning to introduce a a scheme to teach the children to play in a safe way.  They will be calling it 'Super Hero Training'.  They plan to give out capes & masks out to children who behave well as rewards at playtime.  They will have assemblies where they will teach the children to play fighting games without making contact.  I find this to be absurd.  The problem has gone on to long and I doubt they will be able to teach little children to change their games when they have sixty other children to look after o…

Feeling the rain

After I worked out today, I went into the kitchen for a bottle of water and saw the pouring rain out my patio door.  There are few times I can think of wanting to feel the rain more. Without a thought, I went out and stood in the rain.  English rain is cold, but today it felt incredible.  I live in a very public place, but in that kind of weather there was wasn't a soul in sight.  I thought about twirling, but the grown up in me squashed the notion. What I did do though was close my eyes and raise my chin toward the sky to let the rain fall on my face.  In my mind I slowed it all down and took it in.  I swear in those few moments I felt every drop. I've always loved the rain.  I  love the sound of it and like to open the windows and listen to it while drifting off to sleep on stormy nights.  Even as a child I would love to go out and play in. When I got older, I found it sensual and and dreamed of romantic moments that would play out under dark clouds, surrounded by grey tone…

Scary stuff

A few weeks ago, I found a lump in my breast.  I was in the shower.  I thought I felt something, but my first reaction was to not let my mind go there so I quickly moved on.  A few minutes later, I checked again and confirmed it was indeed a lump.  I finished my shower (and my day) trying not to think too much about it.  That night I asked my husband to see what he thought.  We went to the doctor the very next morning.
In short, the doctor referred me to a specialist and told me I'd get an appointment in the mail.  About a week later, I saw the specialist who referred me for more tests.  I had a mammogram on Monday and today I have an ultrasound.  Scary stuff right?
Because we never know when the appointments are going to be, my husband can't plan for it and arrange to be with me.  I've had to see the specialist and have the tests on my own.  This is one of the worst things about living in a foreign country - when my husband can't be there, I am left with no-one else …