Monday, December 14, 2009

For Lori

Today I have a really long post about a dear friend. I know it's Christmas time and is supposed to be all happy and cheery, and all about decorating and the fluff but I keep thinking about her a lot lately and I think she should deserve a post just for her.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the way we judge people. People around us that we think they are so nice and really deep down they aren't. People that seem friendly but they are not. Or the worst kind of judgement: people that we JUDGE for they way they look/act and that are really kind people, nice people, sick people, suffering people. People that Just want to feel loved, cared, or even just talked to.

I believe everyone has a story.

If you pay attention and listen you’ll find that everyone has something to say, has some story
to tell. Sometimes the story is funny or silly; sometimes is sad, and others are tragic. This one is both sad and tragic to me.

I was a bad friend. I failed to notice the desperation on a friend’s actions.

I met Lori while working as a Design Consultant. She was super hyper and full of energy.
She was in her early 40’s. No kids, never been married.
She talked a lot always :) . She was very particular if not odd. She dressed in suits but wore Cowboy boots. She love the southwestern lifestyle but sold the European Country like there was no tomorrow. She drank a lot of Black Cherry Soda and ice Coffee but hated regular coffee. She had a dog that she loved more than life itself. She refused to have sex with a guy she really liked
‘cause she had only shave one of her legs (that's for another story). Odd I tell you. But she was funny. She was like a used car salesperson in a good way. Very colorful.

When I left the job we kept in contact and went out to eat a few times. She acted really weird, but nothing crazy enough for me to be concerned. She fought with the waiter (in a more than loud voice) at a Italian Restaurant 'cause she wanted butter not Olive Oil for her bread, when they brought the butter she didn't even touch it and proceeded to use the oil.

Her voice was louder than normal in our conversations after that. Then the other friend we had in common also told me of a similar situation at the movie theater. She was acting so weird. Of course we just though she was really sad about her father’s death. She had lost her father that
year and had to see him died. She was all alone at that time (her parents where Divorced). Even though we talked all the time suddenly she stopped answering my calls, she never returned them - no emails either. She was always responsible and all of the sudden
she was missing work a lot. She was taking cabs and claimed her car was in the shop. People where calling her asking for money at the work place. We all though she had money issues and just was to embarrassed to tell us. We didn't get why her car got reposessed. It got so bad with her missing work so many times that they had to let her go. Our mutual friend went by her home (BTW-At that time I was already living in another state) after several attempts to contact her by phone and email.
When she saw Lori she said that she looked like she hadn’t had a bath in days and certainly smelled liked it too. That was so strange. We kept trying to call and email her with no avail. I have to say that a one point I gave up ad thought if that was the way she wanted it so be it. I though she was just acting up asking for attention. I though she was just being stupid. We though that she was acting crazy and though she was the bad friend to us.
Then, on December 11, 2008 I received this email from our mutual friend:

“Hi Patricia, I have some bad news about Lori. She passed away from a brain tumor on November 28th. Below is the link to her obituary. I feel horrible. All that time she was behaving erratically was because of the tumor. Her mother had called me at Williams Sonoma right before Thanksgiving to tell me that Lori was sick and needed surgery. I planned to visit her after the holiday weekend since C's mom was in town, but it was too late. Sorry to be the bearer of such sad news, but I thought you would want to know.

Lori passed away.

No words can ever express the sadness that I felt- the guilt.
How could us- her friends- not see this?

How could we judge her like we did?

This taught me that we have to learn to listen better, to be better people, to see the others and listen to them without judgment. We have to try harder at being better friends, neighbors, family. We have to LISTEN to the clues around us and never ever give up on people. We have to be more compassionate and not judge the nerd at work, the person that
dresses a little different, the one that may seem odd to us.
I have to be better.

I owe that much to Lori. So here is to you odd balls of the world. To the Princess the acts out to impress other people, to the rebel that just wants someone to ask what is wrong, to the one that reads the book alone at lunch and not because is really interesting.
And here is to the wonderful fulfilling life that God has blessed me to have everyday. To come home to this, no matter what kind of day I have- is a blessing:

Over & Out


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how I first found my way here but I have you bookmarked and I adore the way you write. Really love this post. Beautifully written and oh so true..

Teri said...

I'm so sorry for your friend. I'm sorry for you as well. It's awful when we learn a lesson like this, I know because I've been very close to a situation like that as well.
I'll keep you in my prayers.