Thursday, December 11, 2008

Laughing Through the Tears

That's what I was doing last night.

Have you ever had one of those days that just robs your spirit of every ounce of its joy? Yesterday was one of those days for me. By the time my BFF called me at 7 o'clock, I had wadded myself up into the recliner with my blanket and my dog. I'd eaten a simple but lovely dinner prepared by my dear husband, and I was trying to focus on a hockey game. There was no indication that the tears were about to come flooding in, except that I had nearly choked on a chicken nugget during dinner when I thought about how I was feeling. I swallowed those feelings along with the chicken, but they came rushing back five minutes into my phone conversation.

She was telling me about her day and about how the new antibiotic (the 4th one since September) may finally be helping her pneumonia. Let me tell you, I don't want to lose this girl. She's my touchstone, my true best friend. She and I have been through ups, down, difficult/stressful jobs, shouting matches, and throwing things. And we're still here with each other. As she has often said, "That's love."

She and I have lost our mothers together and have been on the other end of the phone for each other when the grief broke over us like waves of salty tears. I was her safe place to go when she was at the very edge of sanity while taking care of her ailing father, though I missed her call on my cell phone when she was sitting with him in those last moments at the hospital. I'll always regret missing that call.

So when, last night, she said something like, "I'm tired of this. I hate being old and sick."

That was all it took. Soon I was gulping and crying and making no sense at all. My husband came back upstairs from taking the dogs out, and without saying a word, he handed me the box of tissues and just let me get it out.

Before I talked to her, I'd been thinking how much I just wanted this all to be over - this life, I mean. I was exhausted from battling the pain and getting nowhere. I was tired of praying. I was sick of going to doctors. I wanted it to be over.

And she said, while I was carrying on:

"You know what happened to me? After all of this? After working sick all day and having to go lay back down in the bed after my shower?"

She then related to me the story of the stray bit of bacon that got stuck in her teeth. She said it had been bugging her all day, since lunch, and when she left work, she grabbed a toothpick to pry the little bugger out. She managed to free it from its hiding place, and then....

Then, as she was going about her business, she noticed that her tooth felt funny. She ran her tongue over it and then noticed a chunk of something metallic. And into her hand, she spat out her filling.

The idea of it was so ludicrous, given all she's been through in the last few months, and the way she told it was so incredulous, we soon started laughing hysterically, coughing our heads off (we both have asthma, and laughing always starts up a coughing/wheezing fit). Soon it was happy tears, tears of laughter, falling from my eyes and spilling in waterfalls over my cheeks.

My dear husband just looked at me and smiled, making some wisecrack about women. I know that he was happy she had gotten through my fog to make me laugh.

Before she hung up, she said, "Now no more crying! It'll be alright." That's what she always says. It'll be alright. And it always is.

So today, when I emailed back and forth with my older sister, and we commiserated about our woes, I wrote back to her:

We have ordinary lives. Nothing too spectacular and nothing that will kill us either. Just ordinary, wretched lives full of pain and illness. I wish we had rolled the dice differently, but I suppose we just have to make the best of it. As much as I wished to be a Broadway star when I was young, I was meant to be right where I am for some reason. I’m sure at the very last breath of this life, I’ll go, “So THAT’S what it was all about!” And I’ll do the hokey-pokey into the afterlife.

And I hope that my BFF will either be there waiting for me with a big glass of iced tea or will join me soon afterward. There's truly nothing better than a friend.

I'm so grateful for my BFF, my sister, and each one of you. In particular, one of you sent me the kindest, most thoughtful message in the world today. It truly shook me out of my pity party and set my feet back on the path. Yes. I'm strong. And it'll be alright.

Peace - D


San said...

What a well-written, heartfelt post, Doris. I just finished a marathon award post and I'm so glad I included you among the recipients. I hope it isn't too annoying to you--sometimes the awards seem a little trivial, but it comes from my heart.

I'm glad you're feeling better. Tears can do that. And a friend such as you describe is a treasure. And a hokey-pokey into the heareafter--that's quite an act. That's what it's all about.

Leslie: said...

Well, Doris (*sigh*) I feel like this sometimes, too, but I just keep putting one foot in front of the other every day. It is certainly an effort at times, but then who knows what's at the end of our daily rainbow. You are blessed to have that BFF to talk to and an understanding sister, too. And we're all here for you to vent whenever you feel like it. Hope tomorrow is a better day. Hugs to you...

Hilary said...

What a wonderful post and wonderful friend--you and your bff both have something very special and it sounds like you really appreciate it.

SandyCarlson said...

That one touched my heart. I hope you and your friend are together on this earth for a long time to come. I hope she is better soon, and I hope your spirits are on the up again soon, too.

I had a "I want to cry" day today. Your post made me feel I wasn't alone. Thanks.

Cloudia said...

Congratulations on a wonderful post that made ME feel more alive; and makes me feel as if I just spoke with a true friend. Thank you Dear! Warm aloha-

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Hi RiverPoet,
I'm so sorry to hear that you have been feeling so down... I too have many days like this.
But how wonderful is it that you have a best friend who you can talk to about all your worries and problems?! I wish I had that... although my dogs always lend a good ear and a big warm loving cuddle!
I hope you feel better soon!
Thinking of you! x

Hilary said...

I'm sorry for the pain that you carry around with you and sure hope that one day soon you'll find significant relief. But I sure am happy that you have such good people in your life. They never fail to make the load a bit lighter when it's needed the most. Don't you go hokey-pokeying too soon. You're always a bright spot and an inspiration.

Maggie May said...

D, Sometimes, all it needs to get out of a bad fit of "feeling sorry for oneself", which we all suffer from from time to time....... is a good laugh with a friend. Sometimes you just cannot understand why you are laughing, but it is nature's safety valve.
Sorry about the pain and hope you get some better days soon. X

the walking man said...

I don't think I ever heard of anyone getting weepy over a hockey game are a true fan.

tysdaddy said...

Hang in there, Doris. You have lots of love to give, and you may be a bit dry right now, so I'm sending you a double dose . . .

Mental P Mama said...

What a blessing you both have. i hope you have a light-filled day today.

Stesha said...

I love this post. You and your bff will be okay.

Thanks for the visit

RiverPoet said...

San - Thanks so much for the blog bling. It is never trivial to me; it represents unique friendships I have all over the world and is like another stamp in the blog passport.

Leslie - I know that you completely understand how this feels. I wish you much relief after your own procedure.

Hilary - Indeed we do appreciate each other. She still isn't doing well and actually (shock) took a day off of work today. But her boss? Tried to make her come in, even with pneumonia, another doctors appointment, and dehydration. What a piece of work...

SandyC - I'm glad I made you feel less alone. We all need this community, don't we?

Cloudia - I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I enjoy pouring my heart out here. :-)

Brit - My dogs are my buds, too, always have been. I remember being a shy, withdrawn child who poured my heart out to Barney, my little terrier mix, on the back porch in the warm summer sun.

Hilary - I hope I didn't sound too morose here. It was a very, very, very bad day.

Maggie - Yes, she is my safety valve. That's a great way to look at it!

WM/Mark - Yes, when Ovechkin made that slapshot from the blue line...oh...I'm crying again!

Tysdaddy/Brian - Thanks so much for that. I really was very dry...

MPM - Thanks for that. There is sunshine, and that's a darned good start!!!

Peace - D

Not Afraid to Use It said...

You are damn lucky to have both a bff and a sister. I have neither and am acutely aware of what I am missing. I am happy you have the support because the alternative sucks. LOL

Daryl said...

Been there, felt that. I am glad your BFF can make you feel better and I think an occasional full out cry is a good thing ... and it washes out your eyes!


Akelamalu said...

I was just about to burst into tears with you as I read on and next thing you were laughing! :) I'm so please you and your friend found a little light! I hope you're both feeling better now, I'll remember you both when I'm sending out Reiki. x

Jay said...

Aaaah! That IS what love and friendship is all about!

That was a truly great post, Doris. I think what you have to remember is that this experience of yours, written here so well, may just lighten the darkness of someone else's dark day - maybe someone without a BFF, or a good man.

And then you will indeed have been exactly where you were meant to be today.

I pray that your friend pulls through this current bout of misery very soon, and that you, too, may make progress in your own struggle. *Hugs*


Jeeeeeeezzzzzzz girl, it must be in the water or something, because I need to cry soooooooooo damn bad, and I just can't let myself do it yet!! I have a girlfriend like that too, and I'm thinking mabye I should give her a call this weekend! lol. Sorry I haven't been around much lately, just busy with work, they are trying to turn me into a "company girl" lol. That will be the day!!! lol have a great weekend my friend, and take care!
Julian :)

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