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He turned 21 on that cold 2012 spring morning. Seemed like just yesterday when he took his first step. My son had grown into a fine young man. The childhood memories flowed through the projector of my mind.
The ringing of the phone brought me back to Earth reality. Caller ID showed it was my bestest friend, let’s call her Sarah. I knew why she was calling, she wanted to wish my son a Happy 21st. That is one thing about Sarah, never forgets a birthday. I gleefully answered the phone. The words I heard, immediately brought me to a sitting position and I was cascaded with that numbing sensation.
Sarah never did wish my son a happy birthday. Instead, she proceeded to tell me that her mother just died. Sarah was now all alone and scared.
My friend was not in the best of health. Six months prior, Sarah suffered 3 massive strokes that left her in a wheelchair with partial paralysis to one side of her body. They say she was very fortunate.
During Sarah’s rehabilitation, she had to prove she could ‘independently’ take care of herself. She was focused on being home again to take care of her mother. She worked diligently towards her goal and in just a few months, succeeded. Sarah was headed home to be with her mom. It was just the two of them, alone in that huge rural Michigan home.
It was amazing to see the two of them ‘work things out’ so that neither one was a burden on the other. They had such a warm and loving home. Always a pleasure to visit. Sarah, cruising through the house in her wheelchair. Her mom, with an oxygen tank at her side, to help ease her breathing, during her final stages of COPD.
But now, that wonderful world had come crashing down around Sarah, as her mother was pronounced dead, zipped up into that horrible body bag and taken away from their home. Sarah was now alone and devastated.
Without giving it another thought, I packed my bag to go stay with Sarah a few days, while she acclimated to living without her mother. Those few days turned into months, which turned into, the beginning of this journey. My world had just flipped!