Thursday, June 17, 2010

My dear friend

At work, I have a very, very dear friend. She is perfectly flawed and impeccably challenged. Her son had a brain tumor about 5 years ago and sometime after her sharing that with me, I shared with her that my husband had cancer. I am quite tight-lipped about my personal life but I was easily able to share the details with her. So my dear friend Astoria knows more about me and what I feel than many others do. I think part of that is because I see her nearly everyday so each bump in my path, or sun on my shoulders she hears about because she is available and utterly trustworthy and infinitely empathetic.
When she wants to say something that she thinks she shouldn't, I can see on her face exactly what she wants to say. But instead of saying it outright, she asks me a question. Like if I am bitching about someone, instead of saying "boy Someone sure is an asshole" she ask me, "How do you feel when Someone does that? Does it make you angry" I suppose this is a wise strategy but I don't think she thinks of it that way- I think she probably doesn't want to say something that I may get mad at her for or she fears may offend me. Or maybe its because she really understands about how feelings fluctuate and scenarios change and Someones can be good and Someones can be bad all in the same Someone.
Astoria is a complicated person and she has had alot of unfortunate things happen to her.
Her mother is a resident on the dementia unit in the nursing home we work in. She was diagnosed with early onset dementia, at the age of 50 i think. It has declined rapidly and her mama cannot communicate nor recognize anyone. It is a terrible, terrible disease and knowing it from my work experience and more personally is why that book Still Alice touched me so much.
After you see how this terrible disease progresses and the burden it puts on family members who love the victim oftentimes you realize that living with end stage dementia is no way to live. She knows that better than anyone.
Her mama has been doing worse than usual this week and it is an erie feeling to think the end is near. Though she has said many times that death would finally bring comfort to her mom, it still has to be scary. To anyone who is reading this, please pray for what is best for my dear friend, and her family.

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