Sunday, July 21, 2019

Loving Ellie

I don't remember my life without her.  And I can't really remember the first day we met.  We both worked for the same company all those years ago.  Somehow my friendship with her evolved into monthly "get together's for dinner with the Golden Girls."  I don't remember that date either.  What I do remember is laughter.  When I think of "Ellie" my heart smiles.  That's not even her real name, but she somehow suggested the name, and all these years later she is still Ellie in the Golden Girls hearts.  Ellie and I shared a special kind of friendship.  We were kind of like a comedy team. Over the years we watched each other's children grow up and have families of their own.  We grieved together over our parents illnesses, and finally their death.  The Golden Girls loved each other through all that life has to offer, even the disappointments.  We were there to share the joy of first and subsequent grandchildren. In later years we replaced our parents health concerns to our own.

Ellie and I vacationed together.  After she retired, I talked her into getting a part-time job in the same town as me. One time she was getting ready to go visit her son, who was stationed in Hawaii at the time, and she told me she was worried that she couldn't keep up.  So, I got the brilliant idea to "make her walk with me over our lunch hour."  I picked her up from her office, drove the couple miles to a "safe spot" for us to walk.  I measured the telephone poles and knew about how far I could walk in an hour.  I suggested she try to walk to at least two of them. I took off, my usual speed.  When I turned to go back to my car, I noticed she was already in the car.  I was so happy, and feeling like I had been an encouragement, and inspiration to her!  When I got to the car, I said, "Ok, El, it wasn't as difficult as you thought, right?"  She didn't say anything at first.  I said, "How far did you get?"  She said, "I started out, planning to just go to the first pole.  Then I realized I forgot my purse, so I came back to the car." What??? "Why did you need your purse?"  She said, in typical Only Ellie Fashion,  "Well,  I just thought if I passed out, the paramedic's wouldn't know who I was, so I needed my purse with my identification!"

The last time we spoke, we talked about a Golden Girl reunion of sorts.  She said, "I would really love to get together with everyone at least one more time."  We all used to live within miles of each other, now we are all over the country.  Two of us live in Florida, one in Arizona, one in Ohio, and Ellie lives in Virginia with her son and his family.

In the past few weeks Ellie had a stroke, and the right side of her body was affected.  She also needed to learn to speak again.  Her son has been awesome to keep me up-to-date.  He said this week she was doing better, awake and alert, but had a long way to go. 

The last text I received stated that Ellie had pulled out the trach again, and the nurses did not get to her in time.  She had no heartbeat and was not breathing.  They were able to resuscitate her.  When he sent the text, the ER sent her for a CAT scan to determine if she is brain dead or not. 

I have been waiting to hear from him, regarding how she is.  I started praying differently last night. I do not want her to suffer anymore.  I love her so much, and can't imagine life without her, but I'll see her again!

I love you Ellie......"could we stop at Walmart, I need to pick up, just one thing!"

I know just what you will say!!!!!


Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I don't know what to say. I feel your pain. Not knowing is the hardest part. I hope by the time you read this you've heard something. I'll check back later.

Kathryn Neff Perry said...

She passed. But I'm feeling blessed to have had her in my life all those years. I miss her so much, her sense of humor. And just the fact that she loved me, warts and all.