My friend with CJD called me this morning. About ten minutes before she did I’d been praying that she’d find peace soon. It’s almost as if her radar picked that prayer up. I sometimes think that kind of thing can move through the aethyr and be sensed up by someone who’s ailing.

Apparently, they’re going to move her to California tomorrow, if what she says can be trusted. (I’m not sure it can be, but who knows?) She was talking about a lot of stuff I didn’t understand and mourning because she can’t take her cat to the “nice place” they’ve found for her near her brother. She’s worried about her cat, although a friend in Oregon, “one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet” has agreed to take care of him. “But he’s my baby boy!” she cried. “And I’ll miss him!” She told me how she’d been sobbing because she thought she’d already lost him, but then realized he was sleeping in the bedroom. She loved him so much that when she drew up her will some years back she left money to make sure he was taken care of. I imagine all that will be swept away, everything she owns, because those “nice places” cost a lot of money and Medicaid doesn’t kick in until you’re completely impoverished. (But I’m not bitter.)

“Everyone is giving me such shit because I’m dying. I guess,” she said. She talked wistfully about how, when she’s in California, maybe I and her other California friends can come visit. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that the “nice place” would probably not allow many visitors due to COVID restrictions. The place they’re moving her to is just shy of 200 miles from here. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that my bad legs make it impossible for me to drive that far anymore. In theory, I could suborn some of her other friends to make the trip with me—and I would do that, hard as it would be to see her, were it not for COVID. I have to protect myself, too.

I so much did not want to answer that call. But I couldn’t have lived with myself if I hadn’t. Listening and praying are literally the only things I can do for her right now.

I try to distract myself with piffle and routine. Sometimes that even works, but not when confronted with the stark reality of what’s going on. So this blog may be a little schizoid for a while. I’ll try not to belabor it with posts like these—but sometimes I just need to talk/write. I’ll label them CJD so you can skip over them and I think I’ll close them to comments. Not because I don’t appreciate your expressions of fellow-feeling and sympathy—I sincerely do—but because this is more about me just needing to get things out. I don’t want to exhaust everyone.