Thursday, June 14, 2007

True Colors (Cyndi Lauper)

I don't know how else to say this... so I'll just blurt it out - my co-worker J is dying. Three of us from the office just got back from visiting him in the hospital, where he's been for the last two weeks - his partner A called and told us they had moved him to the Hospice floor earlier today. From what I understand (I've only been working at this job for three months), J has had ongoing health problems but always seemed to find a way through it - even in my short time there, I've seen the effects and it's broken my heart... although I never really believed it would get this bad. Blood poisoning, liver and kidney problems and congestive heart failure conspired to make it impossible to recover - he went into a coma and the doctors have said the end could be two hours or two days.

He and I had an instant connection from the moment I moved into the cubicle next to his - we had a love of Oz and music in common and most days flew by, as we traded quips, movie lines and song lyrics. On the one-month annniversary of my job there, I came into work and found an e-mail in my inbox, titled Present for Susan - it was this picture (in full color, although the only one I seem to be able to find on the web is in black and white), sized to be wallpaper for my office desktop... and, amidst my shrieks of delight, he came around the corner to install it.

The week before he was sick enough to be admitted, he brought me a burned copy of an early, obscure Cyndi Lauper album (now CD), knowing I'd fall instantly in love, which I did - I'm going to order it from as soon as I publish this blog post, so I can have the liner notes and full-color photos. I also have two DVDs he loaned me, Judy Garland in The Harvey Girls and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (the Australian version, not the remake) - I will make a point to watch both this weekend, in his honor.

I had flowers sent to the hospital last week, a brightly-colored arrangement with a rainbow balloon attached - I dictated the card to read: J, you're not in Kansas anymore. Get Well Soon! He called us at the office to tell us how perfect it was - it was the last time I heard his voice. He had a gentle spirit and generous nature and wicked (in a good way) laugh, oh my! - I'll miss him dearly... <3

SONG: True Colors by Cyndi Lauper

BOOK: Death and Dying by Elisabeth Kubler Ross

POEM: Dirge without Music by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.
The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not

More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the
Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

QUOTE: "The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning." ~ Ivy Baker Priest

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