Friday, October 07, 2005

Gilligan's Island

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip.
That started from this tropic port, aboard this tiny ship.
The mate was a mighty sailin' man, the skipper brave and sure.
Five passengers set sail that day, for a three hour tour, a three hour tour;
The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed.
If not for the courage of the fearless crew, the Minnow would be lost;
the Minnow would be lost.

The ship took ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle,
with Gilligan, the Skipper too, the Millionaire, and his Wife, the Movie Star, the Professor and Mary Ann, here on Gilligan's Isle.
So this is the tale of our castaways, they're here for a long, long time.
They'll have to make the best of things, it's an uphill climb.

My friend Pie and I were casual library book sale acquaintances. We ran into each other at book sales & the post office. We'd chat about books , E-Bay and this and that, the sort of things semi strangers talk about when they find themselves waiting in line.

At the last of the Spring sales she mentioned that her shoulder hurt and she was going to have to go to the doctor. I sent her a "how are you doing" e-mail, she fired back that she'd broken it and the doctors suspected bone cancer was the cause. She mentioned she couldn't pack her books so I offered to help out. And I did.

By July she'd broken her leg also, the bone cancer was advancing at a rapid pace and it was apparent that her house was unliveable due to the piles and piles of books heaped in and on every available space. So I started packing. And packing. And packing. 150+ boxes of books later you could see the floor.

And as the books staggered out the door our friendship deepened. She got sicker, I learned more about emergency rooms, home nursing , ambulances, hospice, caregivers than I ever thought I needed to know.

I also learned about humor, courage and that it's possible to face the unspeakable with a smile, a laugh and a joke. And that while one could be dying, one could also being having way to much fun to die. I learned that people who knew each other only through the internet could come together and become a family. And that pink plastic flamingos are as important as pain meds.

I told her that sometimes I felt like one of the passengers on the Good Ship Minnow. I signed up to pack a few books and here, 5 months later I was still on the island.

But now The Minnow is heading toward her final port. Pie is at the hospice in patient care hospital, sedated to almost unconscious because the pain is unbearable.

God Speed my friend, blue skies and fair winds on your final voyage and thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking me along on the ride.


An Educational Voyage said...

I smile at your wonderful friendship and grace.

May you know no more sorrow...

Mamacita said...

I'm so sorry.

We really must meet some time. Our posts are getting to be just too much alike. . . . .

KarbonKountyMoos said...

How wonderful that you both were able to share, and that you've shared with us. . .

Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

This is creatively heartwrenching. I remember Gilligan's Island...and "Gilligan" died recently. :(

You're so giving. Often paths cross because of common interests. When a relative of mine contracted bone cancer it was excrucitaitng for her and those who took care of her. I will never forget how much she wasted away and wishing she was out of pain, wishing she was back to normal. (I was a child.)It's hard to think of what you share when the end is drawing near, but it IS precious. Take care, G.

E said...

What a beautiful and heartfelt tribute to your friend. I'm so sorry for your loss.