Emails have been trickling in from my friends in Houston, all having survived Hurricane IKE, thank goodness. A bit worn for the wear, but alive.
This weekend, I received an email from my friend, Skeeter, alerting me she was alive and semi-well in the heart of H-town. She also casually mentioned she had purchased a plane ticket to come to Seattle and visit this week.
Skeeter and I have been friends since the early 90's...as a matter of fact, she just recently VISITED Seattle/me on the heels of my sister's visit in July, coming to the area to attend a conference. We had a very nice visit and had talked about the possibility of her returning for a few days in September. One has to understand my friend at this juncture...we talk a LOT about things that never pan out...and, after not hearing from her for well over a month, I had made the assumption a return visit was just that...talk.
Panic set in this weekend after reading this email. As you know, I have not been feeling well at all and I've been under considerable work/personal stress. I felt I could not possibly deal with ONE MORE THING on my agenda, dear friend or not. I was frustrated my friend would just *assume* I even remained ALIVE without having had contact for over a month let alone capable of entertaining for five days (I hold a secret death wish that I might one day expire in my sleep, only to be found days later because my cat has clawed her way out of a wall and alerted the neighbors of my passing!). So, in a state of utter overwhelm and fatigue, I called Skeeter to let her know I simply wasn't "up" for a visit.
Her cell phone rang a few times before she answered and we exchanged niceties briefly...not wanting to jump right in with bad news of my own pending demise, I began the conversation inquiring about Hurricane Ike and any effects the massive storm may have had on her. Well...
Skeeter proceeds to tell me in a rather pressured voice that six of her trees have fallen, one on top of her home (a home she has spent the last 7 years remodeling with her own sweat and labor), she has had 6 inches of water flooding the entire house and "flood insurance" that doesn't cover RISING WATER, only FLOODING (WTF?!?), she is STILL without electricity and the weather is turning to 90 degrees on Sunday, and...she just needs a break and has to get away. She apologized for not contacting me sooner, but without electricity, she has had no Internet access (she went to her office where a generator is running power for the building to send me her email), cell towers had been down for several days and without an ability to recharge her cell phone, she couldn't make calls, and...she just needed to get away.
As you can imagine, by this point in the conversation, my heart literally hurt. On the one hand, I was having strong urges to take care of ME...I have such little reserve right now and feel as if the life is being sucked out of me by these recent MSish symptoms. And, on the other hand...she just needed to get away.
We talked for several more minutes (being mindful of not running down her cell phone battery) and I ended the conversation with, "I'll see you on Wednesday". Sigh. Double sigh.
Somehow I will find the energy somewhere to spend time with my friend...to invite her into my less-than-tidy home (I STILL haven't even gotten everything put away from the MS150 weekend!)...to feed her, give her a comfortable place to sleep in an environment that needs no air conditioning or electricity to stay cool, and provide a place to "just get away". It's just what friends do...it's just what MY friends would do for ME if I "just needed to get away".
Tomorrow (Tuesday), I meet with some mucky muck from Club Med to pound out the details of my Tysabri billing and hopefully not get arrested for any type of violent act. I have no pretense whatsoever how THIS meeting will go and I am prepared for it to be similar to the past month of contact with them...dealing with stoopid people who seem to think I am as ignorant as THEY are. LOL Once my meeting is over, I'll head back into work for my final shift before my brief furlough, return home tomorrow late night, try to find a few moments rest, and most likely get up Wednesday and begin SHOVELING OUT THE HUT in preparation for Skeeter's arrival.
I think after this next week, I'm going to "JUST NEED TO GET AWAY"...I only hope it's not via pine box casket! But I'll try to give YOU a few days notice before showing up on your doorstep...hehe. And you are not certain if I mean YOU right now, are YOU?!? (**checking past emails from CHEESE readers in Maine, Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, Oregon, California...Moohahaha**)