Thursday, April 21, 2011
My friend Eddie has been on this blog before but it was last night that I was able to pry him away from his secure post inside of his house seated in his wheelchair.
Ed's last 10 years have been something I wouldn't wish on anybody. He is or was one of those people that everything he touched, turned to gold. However some years back his wife suffered an injury playing tennis and never ever became functional again. What was a seemingly minor neck strain became a surgical procedure that became another procedure and it only got worse as the days and years progressed. She was in such pain that the hospital had to special order meds because they didn't carry anything strong enough for her need. She eventually passed away a year or two ago and we all let out a sigh of relief. Now Ed, who had been by her side for nearly every moment since that day, could now relax and pull his life back together. Don't think for a second that any of us were glad she passed on but after years and years of searching for and trying anything that might help, it was obvious there was nothing in sight that could stop the downward march. The sigh of relief we all felt for Ed was short lived, as he was diagnosed with a variant of Lou Gehrig disease and his prognosis was almost as grim as his bride's.
A couple of weeks ago several of us from the advertising community got a call to a reunion of sorts and Ed was at the top of the list. I called and warned him that he had a few days to come to grips with leaving the house, because we were going.
I called yesterday and as I expected he was quick with an excuse for not attending. Luckily his housekeeper was as prepared as I and she would not take no for an answer. She had him dressed and ready promptly at 5.
Skip over the boarding of the car and the drive, and picture this man sitting in his wheelchair, beaming with delight at seeing his old friends and comrades as they one by one came over to him and expressed their delight at his presence, chiding him, scolding him and even hugging him for being hesitant to attend the evening's program. They doted over him, getting him first a sweater, then a hat and eventually a blanket and while he doesn't care to be waited on, he loved the way they were paying their homage.
Eventually the crispness of the night began to wear on him and he confessed he was tired and needed to go home, but not till the door of his house closed behind me did that smile on his face even think of relaxing. God love you Eddie.