Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My Friend Gayla died

My dear friend Gayla died January 20th and the pain and heartbreak I feel can only be a small portion of what her family is going through. We were good phriends. We met when I found out she also had PH and after that first phone call we had a bond. That was over 5 years ago.

I picked her up so we could go to a support group meeting and from then on it was a phone call or two a day. We talked about PH, husbands, children and things friends (phriends) talk about. I won't mention them all but you know how we women can be. Sometimes I couldn't believe that we talked for over an hour sometimes close to two hours a day. About something important or maybe not. We talked, we shared, we laughed and made each other feel like we knew what was going on. We were a part of each others lives.

She so loved her husband Denny and Brian, her son; he was her pride and joy. I feel like I was there when Brian took his first step; got his first tooth and all the up through high school graduation, I knew what that boy, now a young man did. And Denny, how he did his tour in Viet Nam, his job with the Railroad, how he became involved in the VFW, how she became involved with the Ladies Auxiliary at the VFW.

With this disease too many just don't understand what it is that is going on with us. "You look so good", and my response to that one is well, the meds must be working... Just a little jab to let "them" know that maybe I might look o.k. but deep down I may not be; depending upon the day. Gayla said she was going to use that one too.

Gayla had other complications to boot. She was what my Mother called "a blue baby", born with a hole in her heart and if she did too much, she would turn blue. She told me how she almost didn't make it;
how her Grandmother would make her breathe when she was an infant. The doctors were surprised when she made it to 3 mos then she was told that she probably wouldn't make it to be a teenager. Well, she fooled them all. She was a fighter and knew her limitations and she taught me how to know mine.

The way she talked about her sister and brothers, she must have been a pistol. They watched over her, made sure no one picked on her. And knowing Gayla the way I did, I bet she "used" that position once in a while. She had such a sense of humor. She couldn't play the way "normal" children do but she did learn how to ride a bike and she so enjoyed doing that. She had chores to do at home but nothing that would be harmful to her heart. All her life she had to watch that. She told me how she would try to get out of doing the dishes when it was her turn but it didn't work. Doing dishes was something she could do.... She told me of some of the spats she and her sister might have -- those that sisters do -- but then she told me how if someone were picking on her how her sister would step right in and make sure it stopped. They were and are a very close knit family.

I could go on and on but today is the viewing and tomorrow is the funeral. I know I am going to have a difficult time and I already feel like I am cried out, but I don't think so.


Kathy said...

I am so sorry to hear about your Phriend...that is the tough part of being involved with PHA...I just came upon your blog and I added it to my site:

God bless and I will keep reading :)


How very sad. My daughter has PH and has a 18 month old. She has a very wonderful husband that has more than earned my respect. She looks great, but her PH has so rapidly gotten worse in the 9 months since she was diagnosed that her doctors are shocked. I can barely stand the thought of her death and feel so sad when I hear of others that do pass away. It was really nice she had someone to share with.