She saved the day and neither of us knew it at the time
Friday May 27th 2016, 11:02 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Garden,Lupus,Wildlife

1. That Black Jack fig tree planted March a year ago has a tiny fig for fall growing at almost every leaf junction and one single big spring fig left that the squirrels didn’t quite get to before I clamshelled it away from them.

I’ve never picked a fig before. I assume I wait till it’s darkened (given the variety) and softened, right? Still hard as a rock.

2. Somebody went to the AT&T baseball park in San Francisco a few days ago and put their drink down in the cupholder attached to their seat.

And–sorry, couldn’t get the link to the photo to work, it’s inside a Yahoo group–a fledgling peregrine falcon landed and perched on the edge of that clear plastic cup, its talons huge and in each other’s way. A small red straw poked out between its big yellow toes, its big eyes taking in where it had suddenly found itself.

Well hello!

3. And most important to me. My friend Carol is a knitter whom I get to catch up with every year at Stitches and, when I’m lucky, by random chance at Purlescence during the year. She worked on the recovery post-earthquake and tsunami of the nuclear power plant in Japan (side note to my local friends: that Carol.)

Ever since I met her years ago I’ve been trying to put my finger on just who she reminds me of. And now I know.

Yesterday I was off to see my much-loved Dr. R, the doctor who saved my life in ’03, to wish him well in his imminent retirement. I left early because there was no way I was going to be late for that one.

Which means I had time.

I stepped off the elevator to a very surprised face as someone did a double take at seeing mine. A lupus event damaged my visual memory years ago: I was stuck on, Carol? Wait. That’s not Carol. So, so close, but no. I know I know…!

As the woman in great excitement started catching up with me almost instantly the question was settled. Heather! I hadn’t seen her in 24 years! She’d been a lifeguard at the therapy pool where I met Don Meyer and his wife Amalie the year my lupus was diagnosed.

“Your face is the same! It hasn’t changed!” Heather exclaimed.

Everybody who had attended that now-closed pool had to have a prescription to get in and everybody knew it: for the most part the people there were the types who looked out for each other. It was a good place.

I told her I’d run into Don a month after Amalie had passed and that because of that, he’d had some support in his last five years. (I didn’t add that his son had moved in at the end to take care of him nor about his setting up a blog with our encouragement here and all the interaction he got from that–sometimes the details are too many and need to wait for later, so I’m putting these in here and hoping Heather sees it.)

Amalie was gone. Don was gone. She took that in, sorry to hear it.

I got to see happy photos of her sweetheart and her son.

And I’m just now realizing I can’t believe I forgot to tell her that Conway? Remember my tall, large, stooped, slow-moving, cheerful friend Conway who used to chat with me every day after his exercises? They’d thought he had ALS. Turns out he’d had bone spurs growing into his neck and spine, which they operated on and he started to regain mobility before he died. From a heart attack at that pool. I was across the country at my 20th high school reunion, but I’m told the lifeguards, joined soon after by the paramedics, did CPR for 16 long minutes trying to save him. She might well have been one of them.

If you read this, Heather, his widow moved to San Diego to be near her grandkids. Then she passed. Then her granddaughter there went off to college–and met my son: and they are the parents of my three sweet little grandkids, ages 1, 3, and 5.

Small world.

I got to see Heather today.

Small world.

Who told me who her favorite doctor was, so much so that she drives in from across the Bay to be seen by her.

I asked Dr. R. whom I should go to should my Crohn’s come back; he demurred a bit and asked which others had I seen–at the hospital, the clinic, whom had I liked best?

It had been seven years since my surgeries but Heather had reminded me of that one that had done my throat endoscopy and I said her name.

He was pleased. He told me she was very good and that I would be quite happy with her.

And between my experiences and Heather’s, I knew he was right.

And I probably would not have thought of her first had I not run into my old friend, been recognized by her, and had the time to talk.

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I thought of Don recently. A friend will need several weeks to recover from surgery and when I visit I plan to take over the Hummingbird DVD Don sent.

Comment by LynnM 05.27.16 @ 11:34 pm

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