Saturday, December 30, 2017
Fiorella just received a phone call from Pastor Gronberg, and when she saw his name on caller ID, she knew what it would be about. Sharon, Kite, Fio's close friend for forty-plus years, had died last night. Her death was not unexpected, but Fiorella was unprepared for it being so soon, before she could drive over to the hospice for one last visit.
Sharon had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer many years ago, fought it, and beat it, but last year it came roaring back, although Fio didn't know it at the time. She had assumed Sharon's disappearance from her life meant that she was more absorbed in her own life--her children and grandchildren--and Fiorella doesn't push. But when she learned her friend was bed-bound at home and her daughter had come to town to care for her, Fio headed over to Sharon's house with her own daughter, who is Sharon's goddaughter, in tow and a silly Halloween gift in hand. Then she and Sharon spent an hour or so laughing together, reminding each other of the good times they'd had being the bad girls of the church choir. But Fio and Sharon's relationship had been more than fun and games. They'd also carpooled, compared notes about being PTA presidents, shared family triumphs and sorrows, and been supportive of each other in hard times.
Fiorella visited Sharon again in November by herself, then tried to set up a visit for early December, but couldn't make contact with her friend by phone, texting, or email. Then last night, Pastor Gronberg called and told her that Sharon was in hospice and very weak. Fio immediately made plans to visit her friend with a silly Christmas gift, but not till Sunday, when she'd be completely recovered from the gunk that had hit most of her family members the day after Christmas.
But Sunday would have been too late. Today would have been too late. Sharon is gone from this earth to unite with the universe. And Fiorella is weeping.