All week I’ve been trying to think about how I wanted to write about my covid experience. I got sick last Saturday. I don’t remember anything until Wednesday beyond taking meds, drinking tea, and eating soup. It’s all a blur. I’m over the hump and recovering.
Covid fucked me, not in my health, but in the taking of one’s life that is dear to me. I found out one of my best friends was on a ventilator but hoped she would pull through because she’s a badass bitch and likes a fight. She loves proving people wrong when she knows she’s right. I wanted her to be right.
I woke up at 2AM this morning with her on my mind. I stretched in bed then pulled the covers tight for warmth and thought about my friend. I wondered if she was off the machine. I sent her my love.
Later in the day, I got a call from a former co-worker. I knew what it meant. My beautiful friend was gone. She left around 2AM. Covid had taken her.
My friend was the most giving and generous and caring person. She was my emotional barometer. She checked my mood and told me if I was off. She talked me down and talked me through every emotion I had in an episode. She worried about my meds and my sleep. She always wanted to know what the doctors said.
In my mixed episode, she and her husband took me to the emergency room to get psych care when I was a danger to myself. When I was worried about myself. I called her. She had the answers.
We worked together side by side as a team for many, many years. My opinion mattered. She ran her ideas past me. Together we ruled it all, in the sped world, some days. I nicknamed us Pinky and the Brain. “What are we going to do tonight, Brain?” “The same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world!”
She loved that. We joked about who got to be Brain. and it shifted. When one of us had a good idea, that person was the Brain. But ultimately, she just became Brain and I was Pinky. There are still t-shirts sitting in my Amazon cart to buy for us. Guess that buy won’t happen.
My friend gave the best hugs. Maybe it was her big boobs that smothered you, but they were awesome tight hugs. We were all recipients of those hugs. She had broad shoulders to cry on and soft hands that would stroke your hair and pat your back when you cried. She would laugh while holding you and her whole body would shake.
My friend had THE BEST poker face. I have none. I can’t hide anything. She could see an alien invasion happening and she would still ask the parent to please sign before leaving without a hint to the catastrophe that was about to unleash.
During online teaching, we often met to catch up in a google meet. I missed seeing her every day. Now, I’ll never see her again. During online teaching, we had staff meetings and she would text me things about other funny things other people were doing. She did it with a straight face. I had to turn my camera off. She didn’t even blink.
My friend had a Vanna White voice. I held my IEP meetings with her, not only because she was the smartest person in our department, but because I loved hearing her go over parental rights. Thinking of it now, makes me smile.
My friend was so smart. She was on her way to finishing her doctorate. I couldn’t wait to call her Doctor. And she was going to make me too. And everyone who spoke to her because she earned it.
I always brought her Starbucks. Venti hazelnut latte. I would buy then she’d throw me some money for picking up for the week. Some days I would do a run and she would buy for whoever just happened to be in the room. She was very generous.
When I went to get my surgery, she was scared for me. She cried. She didn’t want anything horrible to happen to me. I told her I would be fine and we would have coffee soon. And we did, sort of. I had tea.
When I published my book, she told me how proud she was of me. She kept meaning to bring it to school for me to sign. I never signed it. When I won the award for finalist, she said something along the line of: You need to tell your students and parents that they are being taught by an award-winning author. I shared with her that my book had been cited in an article and she texted me back that she was proud of me.
In our little sped world, our friend was the sun and we moved around her. She guided us. We learned from her. We never wanted to disappoint or get that look or the deep breath she blew out. or the words “fine.”
She was everything to me. One of the last messages sent between us was on her birthday.
Happy birthday. Hope all is well in your world. Miss you. Love you.
PINKY PINKY PINKY!!! I miss you!!! Thank you for remembering!!! I love and miss you this much (my arms are open and wide stretched)
Miss you too Brain! (Kissy face emoji explosion)
Love it!!!! And you!!!!!!
My dear friend, I write to you now. I am wretched without you. I am lost without your guidance being a text, phone call, or email away. I hope you are at peace and you feel my love. Your unconditional love saved me many times. Thank you for loving me.