I owe some dear friends an apology. Or, at least, an explanation. I owe most of my family the same. If you are reading this, you are one of those folks.
Most of you know this, but back in mid February, I got sick. According to my “follow-up” doctor, I was “very sick.” I didn’t know that at the time.
At first, I thought it was the worst case of flu I had ever had. It turned out to be pneumonia, and it landed me in a hospital for four or five days.
Now, I will admit, as I did in a recent Lunar Report, that thoughts of old age, dependency and even death sort of occupied my mind for a while during the first hours of the hospital stay. And some beautiful things came from all of those thoughts.
Maybe it was because of the beautiful things. Maybe it was because of my sheer determination to get the hell out of that hospital and to make myself strong. Maybe it was simply because I had the dearest man alive by my side. Whatever the reason, I never really feared the illness. I really didn’t believe that I was “very sick.” I laid in a bed, was waited on hand and foot, had all the food and television available. And I had my son. But I never had fear.
Naturally, my son and his family knew about my deal in February. He drove me to the doctor. To the hospital. He stayed with me and was my strength.
And, just as naturally, my dearest friend from Chapel Hill texted me while all of this was going on. Because she couldn’t physically be with me in Charlotte during all of this, she refuses to acknowledge how very much her constant concern meant to me. Well, she needs to get over that. And to understand what she really did.
Since the time all of that happened, I have talked with my sister and have been with and talked with some other dear old friends. The compassion and concern during those talks and visits warmed my heart and encouraged me greatly. At the same time, their underlying sort of angst, I guess, was apparent. They were almost angry with me because I didn’t tell them what I was going through. One of those dear friends came to Charlotte a couple of weeks ago to play golf with his son who lives here. They both included my son and me in the golf that day. At one point during the round, my friend pulled me off to the side and said to me, “Look, when you get sick like you did, you really need to let me know.”
I got his point. My sister and a few other friends made the same point to me when they first found out about the whole hospital thing. I get theirs as well.
My excuses? “I didn’t think I was that sick, I had everything I needed, I just didn’t feel like talking with anyone – I was sick!” Look, I love all of those guys who needed to hear from me back then, but, honestly, I just didn’t want to deal with that part of such an experience. Not at the time I was sick.
But I do owe you guys an apology. I now know exactly how you are feeling about me and the February illness.
Just last night, I learned of one of my old college roommates and also a longtime and dear friend. He had heart surgery today after having a heart attack. I have heard nothing since last night. But last night I left a message on his wife’s phone. “Tell Tim that he has a lot of good folks in Chapel Hill and Charlotte who are pulling for him!”
Look, you guys, my sister and Tim have taught me so damned very much lately.
We love. And we are loved. Both are equally important to all involved.
And forgive me, please forgive me, for not allowing, even for a brief time, the folks I love so much to simply love me back for a while.
Click HERE for a lighter view of things. The latest LUNACY, “Bathroom Rights!”