Last Chances

I have a phriend named Brandon, who's been in the hospital since September of last year. Yes, that long. He has battled a lot of fluid issues, and infections, and heartache and pain. So much of the time he's been in there, he hasn't been able to communicate online with anyone, only briefly scoring some computer time here and there. I can't imagine what he must have thought all that time, but I tried to text him when I could, and left messages once in awhile. I thought maybe he was mad or something when I'd hear nothing from him, but then I found out that he just wasn't feeling well enough to answer back most of the time. I think it was maybe a month ago when I actually chatted with Brandon online for about half an hour. I was so happy to talk to him! I told him he was in my prayers all the time, and that I missed having him around online. He said he missed all of us, too. He apologized for not getting back to me but he really hasn't been well most of the time. We spent a few moments talking about nothing much, and then he had to go.

Brandon was finally, FINALLY transferred to the Cleveland Clinic a couple weeks ago, where everyone was hoping he'd get some better care than the place he just spent months at wasting away. Doctors tried a procedure on him Friday, trying to create a hole in his heart so that pressures would go down, and his kidneys and liver would start healing a bit. They were hoping that this procedure would help him so that he could get stronger to be put on the transplant list. Sadly, the procedure hasn't been successful, and now they are giving Brandon a few days to a week to live. It's heartbreaking. I left a message with Brandon's mom a couple days ago, and tonight I decided to try again. I left another one, but 5 minutes later, she called me back. She said that Brandon's situation wasn't getting any better, and as much as we'd all like a miracle, she just didn't want to see him suffering anymore. I told her how much we (me and my other phriends) were praying for him, and how much we love him, and she said she was so thankful for that. Then she asked me if I'd like to talk to Brandon. While I was nervous about doing, I said yes, I would. Several seconds later, I heard, "Hey, Hotstuff." I had to smile, because that is the nickname Brandon gave me when he saw my farm name on Farm Town (a game on Facebook) was Hottie. I said hi to him, and basically told him what I had told his mom. I also said that I thought he was a brave person, that he kept trying to fight as hard as he could and didn't give up. He had a really hard time talking, and there were a few words I didn't understand, but I knew that he was glad to hear my voice. He finally said he had to go because he couldn't breathe, and so I told him I loved him, and he said he loved me, too. And unfortunately, I have a sad feeling that will be the last time I ever talk to him.

After another few moments talking to Brandon's mom, I got off the phone. I was shaking. I have lost so many dear phriends over the past several years, but not once did I really get to say a final good-bye. I still remember the night Mason signed offline for the last time. He hadn't said anything to me in awhile, and I was about to tell him that I loved him, something I hadn't done in a really long time. And suddenly, I saw his name sign off. The next day, he never got online, and I wondered if something was up since he hadn't mentioned any appts or anything. By that night, I called his mom, and she told me he was in the hospital. He never left. I never got to tell him a last goodnight, or that I loved him, although I had told him a long time before that. I know he knew, but it just didn't feel the same.

Although Euan didn't have PH, he had congenital heart disease like I do, and he'd been waiting so long for a transplant. I hadn't talked to him for almost a month when he finally got his call for a new heart, but never woke up from surgery. I never got to say goodbye to him, either. I spent the past 2 1/2 months wondering so many things, wondering if he loved me as much as I loved him. I kept asking him for signs, for anything, for some sort of answer. I finally got one in a dream a few weeks ago, a dream so powerful it almost seemed real. I woke up crying, tears of happiness, and since then I haven't questioned how he felt.

There have been many other phriends who have died suddenly, or who have been so sick before they passed. I wish I had the chance to speak to them one last time, to let them know that they changed my life, no matter how briefly they were in my life. I never knew anyone with this disease as a child and a young adolescent. Every PHer touches my life in some way, and every phriend I lose is hard to take. So talking to Brandon tonight gave me a little bit of peace, because if he goes soon, I will be glad that I got the chance to talk to him one last time, and to tell him how much we cared. Don't get me wrong, I am still praying for a miracle for him. I have hope that maybe suddenly something will turn around for him! But if not, I am just glad that he got to hear that he was never forgotten by his phriends.

Comments

davew said…
Praying for Brandon. I'm sure the love you show him touches his very soul. Bless you. DaveW
CL said…
Though goodbyes are important, it is the daily living and communications that are the most memorable. Each time you talk to someone, it could be the last time. I try to remember that and tell those I care about how much they mean to me. <3

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