I’ve spent the last 4 days in bed coughing my lungs out and watching copious amounts of Netflix.
Some time in the middle of last night a documentary I had tried to download months ago, finally finished downloading. I’ve just finished watching it, its called The (Dead Mothers) Club. It was on HBO in the US.
I found out about it via twitter in May as some of the people I follow were raving about it. Particularly Dee Kras, her blog Not skinny in LA is worth a read. Anyhow… Dee’s mom died when Dee was young and this doc really touched home in other aspects.
I was telling Steph about it in June when I was in Italy although I still hadn’t seen it. Steph’s mom Barbara had also died much younger than an appropriate age. (Appropriate ages for death are when you are in 3 digit figures…. 100 plus is acceptable… anything less is not allowed. Please note the name of this blog is The way it is according to moi)
This death dying thing is really quite a biggy and it comes up in life every once in a while, sometimes more often then we want. On Sunday I watched a film in the cinema that really brought back some memories of a teenage friend that had died. The film is called A Fault in Our Stars. Good teen romance drama with a twist of the big C. Here once more we are reminded why I don’t write movie reviews as a profession.
When I was about 20ish my friend Emilie died of a brain tumour. Barbara also died of the same thing. Tumours’ are a strange thing, particularly brain tumours.
Anyhow let me attempt to get back on track. While watching a Fault with Our Stars there is a lot of ‘I love you’ being said back and forth. It made me think of the most important I love you that I have ever received. Now it’s not from my parents, or my siblings, or my fiends, or my colleagues. It was actually from Emilie’s mom.
It was Easter time and I knew Emilie was on her way out. I called the house often that long weekend and got no answer. My gut knew they (her and her family) were in the hospital now. I was working at one of my most favourite jobs Blockbuster video (back in the VHS days) well my dad had called me at work, to tell me that when he got home, there was a message on the answering machine for me to call Emilie’s mom Julia. Even though that was all the message said, I knew. I had a weird feeling for a few days. I’m not someone that really needs mothering from my own mother but sometimes you need a mom. My mom was living in the UK and I was in Canada so I went to see my sister’s best friend’s (Ashley) mom (Gale). As mentioned in earlier posts, Steph and I have been friends since 7 and Ashley and my sis have been friends since 4. I know Gale pretty well.
I drove over to Gale’s and she made me some tea and gave me some cake. I was totally together, not even crying. It was time for me to call Julia, give my condolences, offer any assistance and get funeral details. We didn’t talk for too long, not much needs to be said. Neither of us were crying on the phone but as she hug up the phone she said ‘I love you dear’ and then the floodgates opened. I was completely beside myself. This lady’s child has just died and she’s telling me she loves me??? Why??? What did I do?? I only did what I think necessary for any human. Be a good person, a good friend etc.
I moved the UK very soon after Em’s death. Just coincidental, nothing to do with her death but it has made keeping in touch with Julia hard. I’ve lost contact with her. We did Christmas cards in the early years but nothing for at least 6 or 7 years. Maybe I’ll write to her but I don’t know if she even lives at the address any more.
Watching Emilie get sick and sicker was hard but I had a much bigger gripe with her so called friends that all seemed to go a little AWOL. Em and I were friends though college, we didn’t know each other that well but we were friends. I’ve always made an effort. It’s strange quality of mine because I the only one in my immediate family that does. I remember the last time I saw her alive. My mom was visiting Canada for a few days and we were going to see Emilie and Julia. The tumour had really taken over and so Emile could not walk, talk, eat. The eyes are very powerful; they have the ability to speak. I was a quite afternoon in the country. She lived in Apple orchard countryside of Canada. The 4 of us just spoke and nodded. Julia fed herself and Emilie while my mom and I fed ourselves. From memory the 3 of us had apple pie while Em had a more easier to digest version. She was a really skinny and I remember Julia making a joke saying that I should come over more as Em was eating that day. (I would have come over more but I didn’t own my own set of wheels and it’s a 2 hour journey on the highway – far)
Anyhow… Im not entirely sure why I’m sharing this story but a little part has to do with one of the lines in film. I don’t want to give the film away but the dying character is worried about being forgotten.
I don’t think people should worry so much about being forgotten because most of us make an impact in each others life all the time. Its just when you least expect it.
Sending Juila, Steph and everyone else out there a really big hug xxx