Saturday, August 7, 2010



By Cappy Hall Rearick

Just when you least expect it, life can sneak up on you and whomp you upside the head.
You can be sitting around doing nothing, or busy doing something when it happens. You might be simply enjoying the fact that you live in a world of faithful friends who love you, family that accepts you warts and all, or that basically life is good.


Email comes from a friend, the one who, when she lived next door to you years ago, cared about the children at her school who were starving for knowledge even more than their bodies were hungry for food. She was the one who was spontaneous and alive at our dull neighborhood parties, the one who could bring a smile to the grumpy old man on the corner who yelled at kids, kicked dogs and wore a scowl befitting an ogre about to eat the rest of the neighborhood.
She was the one who loved Knock-Knock jokes and laughed out loud even when they were not funny, who opened her home on Thanksgiving Day to someone she had met on the street only the day before, the one who didn’t judge people and never got the hang of disliking anybody. She was the one always up for a new adventure, for another chapter in her book of life.

The latest chemo drug failed. New tumors are growing. Surgery, radiation, chemo won’t do any good. There are no options.

Her humor is still healthy as a horse. “I asked the doctor,” she writes, if I was now expected to just sit here until I pop. He mumbled something about drugs that would keep me pain-free (before I pop).”

Because she is an intelligent woman, she considers pursuing experimental drugs, homeopathic remedies and such, but in the end decides to spend what time she has left with family and friends. “Due to the growth pattern of the first alien tumor, I expect that time will be closer to two months than six.”


My friend is the one who haunted the internet for days only a year ago until she found me again, the one who wanted to email, share stories about her son and new husband, and to hear everything about my children and family. Although I didn’t know it at the time, she needed a dose of my humor; today I need a dose of her joie de vivre, her exuberance, her whacky way of looking at life.

She says that she feels more at peace than she has in a long time. I can almost hear her laughter as she writes, “I know where I’m headed and I promise to put in a good word for you!”


The summer has been hot and I have whined about it until everyone I know is sick of hearing it. Babe’s recent knee replacement surgery has made us much too aware of the unreliability of our bodies as our lives move toward to an eventual end. But summer heat gives way to crisp autumn air that cools the body and calls for open windows that freshen the house; knees get replaced with titanium and perform better than ever. And life, as we know it, goes on.

My friend’s plight, my former neighbor with the wonderful sense of humor and a storehouse of real courage even in the face of hard facts that can’t change, makes me incredibly proud of her while making me ashamed of myself for whining.

She ends her email with what I know she hopes will bring a smile rather than tears. “Keep sending me good jokes. This one is from my sister after I asked her where my ashes should be scattered. She said, ‘By the pond in the garden, Silly. That’s where everyone croaks!’

And then … “I love you SO MUCH and I treasure the time we got to spend together.”



Cappy Hall Rearick
"My greatest fear is that there is no PMS and this is just my personality."