Friday, February 20, 2009

Live A Little

I got a call today as I was headed out the door to buy groceries. Purse flung over one shoulder, keys in hand, I doubled back and picked up the phone.

"Caryl?" It was my neighbor, Sherry. "I hate to bring you bad news, but Pam passed away today."

So soon? I fell into a chair, dropping my keys on the table.

We neighbors had organized to take the family food on the days that Pam had chemo. Just two weeks ago my husband and I carried our meal across the street to their house. Pam let us in the front door, showed us where to put everything and then invited us to sit with her in the living room. We chatted for about 30 minutes. She was in good spirits. The tumors were shrinking.

But a week later she seemed disoriented and was taken to the hospital. A spinal tap revealed cancer in the fluid. She went from the hospital to hospice care. We planned to visit her there, but now it was too late.

Sherry promised to call when she knew anything more. After a phone call to my husband, I resumed my trip to the store.

Our local grocery store recently added a Starbucks inside. As a reward for being such a good little shopper, I always get a small...excuse me...TALL coffee. Though I love their mocha frappucinos so much I should marry them, I dutifully get a regular old coffee. Mocha fraps are expensive and fattening.

Pam was heavy on my mind as I checked out with my groceries. I pushed my cart towards Starbucks and realized I wasn't in the mood for coffee today. I headed for the door. And then out of nowhere, I stopped and knew I had to buy a Mocha Frappucino. "What are you saving it for?" I thought.

I got the works: whipped cream and chocolate sauce on top. When the barista handed it to me, I silently toasted Pam. I smiled to myself and vowed to make more of an effort to enjoy however many days I have on this earth. I know from the many talks Pam and I had that if she could, she would say to me, "Life is too short. Live a little!"

I'll miss her.


SegerHicks said...

I am sorry that you lost a friend caryl, sooner than expected. You always share very personal things here.
I know exactly what you mean by "live a little". I am a practical person who sometimes worries about the future. My mother is obsessed with "saving for best" as in nice clothes and gifts she gets and "saving for a rainy day" as in save much more than you spend.
I say wear your nicer clothes and jewelry any day and live within your means while ENJOYING little pleasures like a special coffee, a new purse, or a Taylor Hicks concert in another state. Life goes by fast. ;) Thanks for the reminder!

Lubiana said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. :( Yes, life is short. We have to live it while we can.

Soul Reporter said...

"I say wear your nicer clothes and jewelry any day and live within your means while ENJOYING little pleasures like a special coffee, a new purse, or a Taylor Hicks concert in another state. Life goes by fast. ;) Thanks for the reminder!"

SegerHicks, my sentiments exactly! Thank you.

Caryl, I'm sorry too that you lost a friend. We do have to savor the moments, don't we?

Anonymous said...

I am sure your friend Pam would appreciate the sentiments of your post.
We can't totally live "only for today", but we can enjoy each day to its fullest.


Anonymous said...

Caryl, I am so sorry to hear she lost her battle. From what you said she fought to stay, but it was her time to leave. My thoughts are with you.


Kenzie said...

I'm sorry that you lost your friend. But reading about the toast was heart warming Caryl, its good to remember that we can "live a litte" once in awhile... if not all the time. ;)

havingfun said...

Caryl - I am sorry for the loss of a good neighbor. They are rare in these days and times. The kind to visit with and share with and love. She was a good friend, I'm sure. But you were too. It's takes two.

caryl said...

Y'all are very kind. We went over to the house this morning to see how Pam's husband is doing and he seems OK for now.

But I remember when my Dad died, my Mom said the hard part comes later, when everyone goes home and you don't have any more details to distract you. We'll keep an eye on him and his son.

caryl said...

I wanna go to a TH show in California SO bad! I have a friend near LA. But I doubt my husband will see that as "smelling the roses." He'll just see it as an unnecessary expense. :(

Kenzie said...

CARYL!! ILL COME!!! Tell him... uh...tell him, I'm stranded there...and I need a ride home. yeah that'll work! lol

caryl said...

Kenzie, weren't you planning on going to a show in California? Which one? Honestly, I doubt my husband will let me get away AGAIN. I just went to Chicago in January. can't hurt to check the fares, right? LOL

Kenzie said...

I was thinking San Diego... but I think its getting too close to call, I'm waiting on my federal tax refund, but its taking forever. So I might have to hit the one after that. And btw, fares are really low for San Diego!!