Saturday, February 28, 2009

What we know

Some smart person somewhere said that a miracle is that which inspires faith. Many of you are already aware that my own stockpile of faith has been under serious assault since like, um, 2006, year of the bitchening. Life has been... rugged. And not at all scenic.

Yet another terrible and unexpected thing has happened, as you know: Bob, of Bob and Kate's Asylum for Wayward (Middle-Aged) Women, died this week. Of all the things I thought might happen today, Bob leaving us was in the basement. I knew he was feeling unwell but I never thought that he might be checking out.

I moved here out of necessity; I was absolutely broke after my own father died, and Bob and Kate agreed to this arrangement because they had room for another person and they thought I could be of some help. Well, I have been here three months. I have helped, I guess. Somewhat. For the most part, however, I have felt unequal to giving Bob and Kate the kind of help they really need. Bob needed someone to be available to help him 24/7. Kate needed someone to tie up loose ends and errands for her so she could care for Bill.

I did the best I could. Often I felt my best was not good enough. Many times I wondered how all this would turn out.

Shame on me. If I had been paying any kind of attention, I would have known that Bob wasn't well. If I had any kind of sense, I would see that Kate is well and able bodied and Bob was in a wheelchair. I would have seen Bob sleeping 16 hours a day and I would have noticed how little he ate.

I didn't notice any of these things because I wrongly believed that I had met my death quota for some uncalculable amount of time. DUH. And yet the DUH factor has left me feeling detached and philosophical about Bob's death, even though I feel on some level absolutely sick about it.

And then last night I came back from the funerary planning session to find that in fact, I can have two people I adore die in the same week. Lisa left us late last night.

And when I got that piece of news I cried until my contacts popped out like shrinky dinks. I have tried to explain to people who I am crying over and it all comes out wrong. "She was a person who I never met but she was awesomely funny and smart and gorgeous and wise and well, perfectly excellent. I never met her. But I want her back. Very. Badly."

No one knows this feeling except for other bloggers. My brother and his wife find it distressingly post-modern and hopelessly dorky that I have friends I have never met that I count among my top echelon of most beloved people. My in person friends who don't blog just stare at me blankly. Then they say something to the effect of: "Hold up. We went to college together. I knew you when you used to do upside funnels at frat parties. I have cleaned up your vomit. How is she like, in my weight class, friend wise?"

And I can't explain that. At least for today, I am too teary eyed and distracted. And then part of me still thinks it can't be true because I already had someone die THIS WEEK.

What the f? Seriously.

If you are of the praying kind, just say something, anything to the almighty. Say something about Bob. Say something about Lisa. Each of them were excellent examples of holding up gracefully under terrible circumstances and both, for me, inspired faith in the most rocky and unlikely territory. That makes each of them, in their different ways, a miracle.


Avitable said...

I know exactly how you feel.

Anonymous said...

I want her back too. But tonight, she sleeps sweetly and that thought also brings tears to my eyes - happy tears for her.

I love you Nina

Catherine said...

The thing I really get the best is feeling detached and also absolutely sick at the same time. Time in sorrow can be a lot trickier than it looks on paper.

Also, your words and your presence, the kind of connection and friendship you referred to there that has come to be in me through experiencing them, what do they do? Well, they inspire faith. So there.

sybil law said...


Finn said...

Yeah. Exactly.

Finn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ByJane said...

I hate when bloggers I know die. It feels so personal, and scary too.

I know just what you're saying about the closeness you feel to your blog friends. While your college roommate held your head while you vomited, we, your blog friends, are privy to far more than the spilling out of the contents of your stomach. We get what's in your heart.

Jen said...

I'm crying too.

I'm glad you're back. There was an empty spot without you.

And now there is another empty spot without her.