Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sad Sunday

We drove into Birmingham yesterday to visit our old friend Louis. He was one of Jilda's chair-buddies for the three years she underwent infusion treatments for her immune system condition. Our friendship with him is the best thing that came from the time she spent in those chairs.

I've written about him before. He attended our Thanksgiving dinner the last few years and our summer fish fries. 

The last six months his health has gone south. We went to see him yesterday in the nursing home, and he was unresponsive. He'd lost lots of weight. It broke our hearts seeing him that way. We sat for a while and held a one sided conversation. Then we said our goodbyes.

We decided to stop by the produce stand on the way home. We picked up several items including a watermelon that would have required its own zip code had it been a piece of land. The helper grunted when he picked the melon up and again when he hefted it into the car for us. 

My grunts were louder and accompanied by some foul language when I hauled it inside the house after arriving home. The things we do to enjoy fresh fruit – I thought to myself.

I awoke a few minutes later than usual this morning. Even if we stay up late, the dappled morning light seeping in around the shades forces my eyes open. I laid there a few minutes breathing deeply, taking an inventory of the morning aches and pains. Not bad I thought, so I slid out of bed and started the coffee maker gurgling.

We read two Sunday papers, as we sipped coffee and listened to cello music on the stereo. It was a good start to a Sunday.

After our walk, Jilda decided to cut the watermelon. We called our nephew Jordan over for a photo op. He loves watermelon, and this one almost outweighed him. We thought he'd make a good benchmark for gauging how big the melon was. The picture was a hoot.

As Jilda cut the melon, I sat at the table and observed. I felt the phone buzz in my pocket. Pulling it out, I saw that I had a new email.

Touching the screen, I saw the new missive was from Louis' friend James. His note said that Louis had died this morning. 

I waited until the kids had their watermelon and went back home before telling Jilda the news. Tears filled her eyes, and she said "I knew it would be today. I'm not sure how I knew, but I did." 

A while back before his health got so bad, Jilda talked to Louis every day. Before hanging up, she always said, "I love you, Louis." He responded, "I love you more." We will miss our friend.

RIP Louis.

Our niece Alesha, Jilda, Bert, and Louis during better times.


  1. I'd a hunch when I read your header... but so hoped I was wrong.

    Not that I'm an expert on these things, but have read where hearing's the last to go .... so I'm reassured y'all had that last conversation, even one-sided.

  2. My sincere condolences.

  3. This is so sad! Im glad you and Jilda got to talk to him. And she is right, sometimes you just know.

  4. So wonderful that you got to say goodbye to him. He knows you were there and knows how much he was loved.

  5. I remember you writing about him before, it was good you both got to see him one last time before he went, even though he was unresponsive I am sure you gave him comfort by being there, I have a feeling that he still heard you.

  6. So sorry for your loss. A good friend is such a treasure. Your memories kept in your hearts will live on forever.

  7. Anonymous11:15 AM

    I am sorry for the loss of your friend. Can we see the picture of Jordan & the watermelon, please?

  8. It is so strange that happiness and tragedy are so intertwined. I suppose that is the only way we survive the sorrow. My condolences.

  9. I'm so glad you went to see Louis.


  10. Oh so sad but oh so good that you still visit him

  11. My condolences for the loss of your friend. It seems we're all at that age where we're losing friends and loved ones.

  12. The older I get the more friends I lose. it is good to still be here, but wish I could say the same for my best buds!
    Sorry to hear this, amazing how close one can get when they share a
    experience'. Stay cool!


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