Category Archives: Friends

Goodbye friend

Well, I knew it was coming, and I’m still sad.  My friend, Bill, died this past weekend.  On the 1-year anniversary of his dad’s death.  The “I believe in forever” part of me thinks his dad came to get him and end his suffering.  The normal pessimistic side of me says it sucks that 4 kids under the age of 17 lost their dad in such a horrible way.  Cancer is ugly and it does not allow you to die in dignity, that’s my humble opinion. 

Anyway, even though I haven’t worked with Bill in over a year, I will miss him.  I’ll always remember how proud he was of his kids and how he loved to show off their new pictures.  I’ll never forget when his oldest, a little boy, was born.  His feet didn’t touch the ground for weeks!  He was so proud.  His billfold bulged with new pictures constantly.  He was a great husband.  When he and his wife lost a baby he took time, a lot of time, off work to spend with her because she was having such a hard time emotionally.  Yes, I know, that’s what good husbands do, but still…  I remember playing an ancient Jeopardy game on the computer late in the evening towards the end of our shift.  He was smart!  I even have to laugh when I think of the way he used to shut the door when he’d get calls from informants, not really funny, and totally professional, but I still laugh to think how often Abbie and I would be talking about something and all of a sudden he’d comment from the other room.  He’d been so quiet we had forgotten he was there! I liked the fact that he liked country music too, and didn’t give us a lot of grief when we’d turn the radio up at night when everyone else was out on the street. 

I quit working for the city for several years and when I came back Bill was working downtown.  The first thing we talked about was his kids! He had to get out his billfold and show me all the new pictures!  He was a character and I’ll certainly miss him. 

All of that being said, for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on, I’m especially sad at his passing.  Maybe because he had the same type of cancer my grandfather died of when I was 6, which started this whole anxiety merry-go-round that I’ve been on for the past 44 years.  Maybe because he was just a couple months older than my husband and once again mortality is slapping me in the face.  Maybe it’s the fact that another police officer I knew passed away this weekend and that makes 4 people I know who have passed away just this year and I’m just depressed over that.  Maybe I just know Bill would have been a wonderful grandpa and I’m mad/sad that he’ll never have that chance.  I don’t know.  Maybe it’s because it’s spring and I always have anxiety and depression in the spring and fall, who the hell knows.  I just know I’ll miss my friend. 

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Good news/bad news

I called my sister today.  Yes, the one I haven’t spoken to in over a year.  I feel as though a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  As pissed as I was, and I was very pissed, you just don’t stop loving someone.  Even though you’d like to.  We even discussed the only stumbling block that I see to keep us on track, but maybe that won’t be a stumbling block after all. 

I found out from talking to her today that the wife of a good friend is dying of cancer.  She had a double mastectomy several years ago and it had metastasized to her brain and lungs.  You know, I can gripe and complain all I want about how bad I feel, but at least I feel.  And even though I know I’m not going to recover from any of this stupid back, neck, shoulder pain, it’s not terminal.  No matter how bad your life is, there is always someone who has it worse.  I guess the old adage that everything comes in 3s is true.  That’s 3 people I know that have been diagnosed with cancer within the past few months.  It’s really not fun to get old and watch things like this happen to people your own age.  And I’m realy NOT that OLD!

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Friday Nights at the Drive In

Don’t come here looking for any racy stuff.  I usually went to the drive-in with my parents or friends in my later years.  Mom and Dad used to take Missy and I to the drive in occasionally – I suppose whenever dad had the night off.  I can remember the big playground areas where they had swings and slides, and all sorts of good stuff.  Mom would walk us up there and then leave us to play – as did every other mom in the place.  You sure couldn’t do that today!  It was fun back then, but it seemed I always, without fail, ended up with an earache and we had to go home early.  I don’t know why we went home, the earache didn’t go away.  I think we could have just taken sweet oil (the stuff mom used to put in my ears) and a cotton ball with us and then stayed for the movie! 

Most of my memories of drive ins were spent with Dorothy – she had a car, I didn’t have one until I got married.  I remember when Elvis died and a local drive in showed dusk to dawn Elvis movies.  I wasn’t much of an Elvis fan, so I took a sleeping bag and slept on the hood of the car.  That is, after we ate our share of peach Jell-o.  We used to eat it right out of the box, kind of like a pixie stix.   It was good!  We went one time to see “The Wrestler” – I can’t remember who went with us that time.  It was hysterical.  We had a great time. 

I got the biggest scare of my life at a drive in.  My roommate at the time, Gene, and I had gone to the Sky View on 72nd Street north of Ames to see the original…. Oh crap, the name escapes me right now.  It was a Stephen King movie…. Oh yeah, the Shining, with Jack Nicholson.   The lot was full so they decided to replay it at 3 a.m.   We got there about 2, and they let us in, we were just catching the last part of  “The Town that Dreaded Sundown”.  I was sitting in the car, petrified (I really don’t like horror movies – I love the books, but I can close a book anytime!).  I was hardly breathing I was so scared, when all of a sudden I heard this crunch of gravel and footsteps next to my car door.  I screamed so loud!  The guy who was walking by with his popcorn screamed just as loud as me, and popcorn went flying!  It was hysterical!  We both laughed until we cried – mostly from relief I think.  He was as scared by the movie as I was.  I didn’t get that scared again until my house got broken into and I was locked in my bedroom watching the doorknob turn…

Drive ins were starting to die about by the time Steve and I started dating.  I think the only one left by then were the Q-Twin drive ins on 120th and Q Street.  We did go to a movie one night – A Stephen King movie if I remember right.  I got the worst stomach ache of my life and we had to come home.  That was the end of that.  Never saw another drive in movie.  Too bad, because it was so much fun to sit out on a warm summer night and just kick back in a lawn chair, car hood, or pickup bed, and enjoy the movie in the great outdoors.  I kinda miss them. 

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