Monday, January 15, 2018

Let Me Tell You About My Best Friend

I've very lucky. I met this man, dated him and had the good fortune to marry him. Now let me tell you something about him. He has the biggest heart you can imagine!

When Marc was growing up, his best friend was a kid named Richard. They met when they were 6 years old, and they developed a bond that time and distance couldn't break. Over the years, they wound up in different parts of the country and Richard wasn't good about keeping in touch when he moved away, but that didn't change Marc's concern for him.

Richard developed health problems, and I remember Marc worrying about him in the early days of my being with Marc, so that's over 20 years ago. But Richard did his own thing, and Marc only got updates from mutual friends who heard from other friends and so on.

Then in 2016, one of their friends from school days, Anne, called Marc. Anne is a saint, and she'd been helping Richard, trying to get him over health issues and get him back on his feet again. Richard didn't make it easy for her, but that's another story. She worked hard, just because she wanted to help a friend.

So Anne called to say that Richard was in rough shape, but while she was helping to arrange his care, advocate for him, help him in all sorts of ways, he mentioned that the thing that would make him so happy was if he could see his childhood friend, Marc.

Now, bear in mind, Richard was saying this as he was lying in a nursing home, where they were trying to rehab him after a hospital stay. A nursing home about 1,400 miles away in Wichita, Kansas. I guess Richard was hoping Marc would talk to him on the phone. In fact, that was the other part, that Anne said Richard asked if he could have Marc's phone number to reconnect. Of course, Marc said yes. The circumstances weren't ideal, but Marc was happy to reconnect with his old friend.

Marc thought about it very briefly and then declared, "I have to go see him." His old friend was sick and said it would brighten his day if he could see Marc, so Marc was dropping everything, taking time off work and getting on a plane on short notice to go see an old friend who was sick, just because his friend mentioned how nice it would be to see him.

So Marc got out there to see Richard. They talked, and Marc encouraged him to work hard to get back on his feet. He told him how, once he felt better, he could come to New York and we'd give him the grand tour. Afterwards, Anne told Marc that helped immensely, and, in time, Richard got out of the nursing home and was working to move forward.

Unfortunately, he took a fall several months ago, and he was back in the hospital and then the nursing home again. When we went out there for Marc's school reunion a few months ago, we went to visit him. He was still in rehab. On top of wanting to see Marc, Richard wanted to meet Marc's husband whom Richard had declared to be "a very lucky man." He was right. I am very lucky!

So we went and spent time talking to Richard. Marc encouraged him to work on his rehab, as he was somewhat reluctant at that point, and they still talked about what the future could hold, trying to keep a hopeful view of everything.

Today, Marc called me from work in tears. Richard's brother had called. Richard died today.

It wasn't really unexpected, as he wasn't doing at all well this time, but it doesn't change the fact that Marc is devastated. And, of course, I'm upset for him.

But look at the love he brought to his friend. Someone who went his own way decades ago says, in essence, "You know, I wish I could see my childhood friend, Marc," and my husband turns into a one-man Make-A-Wish Foundation. That's how he is. Off he went! How many people would do that? So this is a sad day, but I'm focused on how Marc made a sick friend's life better. We all go eventually, but it's a real gift when you have someone so caring in your life!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Ready for a break!

"A break? You're unemployed, Jess! A break from what?"

Yeah, well... I have my stress! Being unemployed is daily pressure. Plus, I've been working on drumming up business for my HR consulting practice. I might have a nibble or two on that front and a real client, where I can help a new business grow. I love being a part of that! I'm also picking up a little legal work when I can.

Anyhow, we're heading south later this week. First going to see some family and then on to Savannah. I can't wait! Some quality time--including romantic time--with my husband, and we'll also get to see some good friends!

The only downside is that Lexi has to go to her "pet resort," but I think she just aims her guilt ray at me for her own entertainment. When she's there, she has a ball. (She should, for what it costs!) ;-)

I love the photos of her from playgroups. For example...

Look at that happy girl!

Still, as much as our doggies always are family to us, it's not easy leaving her there. But we'll all be happy when we're reunited!