My friend Lou passed away this morning.
I am heartsick. Regretful for all the times I didn’t answer his texts when he wanted to stop by and see me at work and all of the times I got frustrated at him for embarrassing me, which was one of his favorite things to do. Lou had a heart of gold, even if it was wrapped in a strange package. He was the most generous person I have ever known in this life, giving of his time, his help, his money, his love without ever expecting anything in return besides companionship and loyalty.
He struggled. He struggled so much and so long and I wasn’t there for him the way I should have been. I was just thinking yesterday how the first night my mom was in the hospital to have surgery to remove her tumor, Lou was frantic out here on the east coast making calls to one of his good friends who worked for a top cancer hospital, advising me, supporting me, begging me to move her back here so she could have the best care. A year later, his own mother was diagnosed with the same cancer. Our moms fought their battles together, 3000 miles apart and his mom lost hers much sooner than mine did. It brought me to my knees the morning I got that call from him, and I struggled for the first time with that indescribable feeling you get when someone you love dies….the disbelief. The ‘this is just a joke, I’ll just call her up tomorrow and we’ll have a good laugh about it’. I'm having that feeling again today....this morning I am consumed by it. I think trying to understand how it’s possible that you will never hear a person’s voice again, never be able to hug them, laugh with them, make new memories, is one of the strangest mental conflicts we experience in this life….how can it be that everything we knew just vanished? It’s gone, just like that. How is that POSSIBLE? And above all, how does GOD allow it? Don’t talk to me about a better place, a bigger plan, and about faith. Right now, I am angry and I want my friend back….and our moms too, while we’re at it.
Lou took me in when I had no place to go after I got in the fight with my roommate that ended our 7 year friendship and ultimately landed me back in California. I spent Christmas Day with his family that year, eating his mom’s ricotta cheesecake, watching the snow fall; warm, happy and feeling loved.
Lou introduced me to my husband.