Scrabble™ and Meat Loaf
Donna Clark Goodrich
I met Esther on our first Sunday in Arizona. She was in our Sunday school class and, being only six weeks apart in age and with the same zany sense of humor, we clicked right away and became close friends.
Years later she helped me in my income tax business, coming in evenings after her daytime job with the city.
Then she was diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome, followed by diabetes and kidney failure, leading to dialysis three times a week.
I talked with her often on the phone, and she would say, “C’mon over and play a game of Scrabble with me.”
“I will, as soon as I get caught up with my work,” I promised. But it seems I never did get “caught up,” then I received an email from our church prayer chain that she had passed away.
Another friend I met through our writers’ group was Lucky. She and her husband had adopted three children from Mexico who had been abused by a relative. Lucky wrote a book about her experience, leading to interviews on radio stations.
Then cancer struck. I would often see her in stores wearing a turban or nothing at all on her hairless scalp. Sometimes my husband or I would take her to chemo treatments.
I called her one day and asked if I could do anything for her. “I’d love some good meat loaf,” she said.
“That’s not one of my specialties,” I laughed, “but I’ll bring over something else in a couple of days.” However, three days later she was gone.
Regrets? Definitely. But I’ve learned two things: Don’t promise something you can’t do, and when you do promise something, make sure you can carry out that promise.
What can you do for a sick friend?
When my husband was in a care center for five weeks, friends:
- Replenished my cell phone
- Took me to lunch
- Brought over a “care basket” with packages of soup, cookies, cocoa, and a devotional booklet.
When my mother was in the hospital after cancer surgery, friends
- Sent her cards every week
- Gave out their phone number so people could call them for updates
- Kept coffee and soup warm at her house for family members
There’s always something you can do—even if it’s not Scrabble and meat loaf!
What would you like friends to do for you when you’re sick?