I’ve known a lot of people for a long time. Like most of us, people have drifted in and out of my life. Nobody can keep everyone they like close to them for their entire life. I know I haven’t been able to. I’ve located some old friends and tried to rekindle relationships. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m no stalker, but these are people I like. I want them in my life if they want me in theirs.
My longest-tenured friend almost died last week because he’s a monumental idiot. I want to use stronger language than that, but friend. I say longest-tenured because I have friends who are older than he is, but he and I have never lost touch since we first met and we’ve known each other so long, neither of us can remember meeting for the first time. I’m guessing we met at a school bus stop in middle school.
I love the guy like the brother I never had. I was best man at his wedding. He would have been best man in mine, but he was in the service and couldn’t get there. We’re not as close as we once were because we’ve lived a continent apart, pretty much since he got out of the Navy and I got out of the Army. Still, when he’s called me up and asks me for something, I’ve always done it and I can’t conceive of him asking me to do something I wouldn’t do. Unlike some of my crazy relatives, he’s only called me in the middle of the night once and he was sober when he did it.
He had a stroke. No, I don’t know how big it was, but even a small stroke is a medical emergency. It’s not just a sprain and it won’t buff right out like a scratch on your car might. If you think you had a stroke, get to the emergency room. If your wife thinks you need to go to the emergency room, go to the emergency room. If your daughter who is close to graduating from nursing school thinks you need to go the emergency room, go to the emergency room. These are the people who love you most. They have your best interest at heart even if nobody else does. It’s probably a bad idea to drive yourself and you may not be able to handle a car, but get to the emergency room.
He didn’t ask for my advice and he didn’t follow his wife or daughter’s advice until it was nearly too late. He did survive the emergency craniotomy. It was needed to stop the bleeding in his brain and it was performed in a community hospital because taking him to the nearest big university hospital would have killed him. He now has a plate in his head. My dad had a plate in his head almost a hundred years ago. That’s well-established technology. He’s home now and recovering slowly.
I haven’t really got an ending for this, but I’m glad as I can be that this wasn’t the end of him.