My friend, who shall remain nameless to protect his privacy will be moving into an assisted care facility next week. Actually, he needs total care but his partner is with him and will help him.
This picture was taken in the summer of 2010, the last time my friend visited me and Bill at our home. He almost backed into the house. Backing out of the driveway, he almost knocked over our neighbor's mailbox. After those near misses we decided that was the last time we could have him drive his own car over to our house. Actually, we were more afraid that he would injure himself or someone else on Route 1, which he has to cross to get to our house.
I won't go into all the details of my friend's decline only to say it is a combination of Parkinson's and dementia. The last time I saw him was last week. He was very confused and paranoid. I'm not sure if he even knew who I was.
|I'm kneeling in on the left, my friend standing behind me- Ft. Devens, Mass - 1960|
|Surprise birthday party for my friend - Philadelphia 1982|
|One of the many lunches we used to have when we both worked in Philadelphia|
After he moved to Delaware I often visited him at his single wide trailer on twenty-acres of wooded land which he called "The Ranch." It was a getaway for me, him and many of his other friends. We all just happened to be gay but no orgies. Well, maybe a few if we got lucky at the bars but that's another blog entry.
|Weekend at "The Ranch" 1980|
About ten years ago I started to notice certain signs that things with my friend weren't quite right. I pushed them out of my mind. However, over the years these "signs" began accumulating until I no longer felt I was imagining things.
Gradually, my nightly phone calls to my friend to exchange the latest gossip, complaints, jokes and endless repeating of war stories from our Army days drifted off to a few a week, then a few a month and now I don't call at all because no one is at the end of the line.
The last time I visited him was last week. I don't think he knew who I was. This morning Bill went down to visit him and his partner, they were there but didn't answer the door.
Next week I understand they are moving into an assisted living facility.
Many of my friends from my Army days have died. Many of my classmates have died. I still have two good friends left from high school, one of which I talk to almost everyday on FaceTime. I make every day count. I take nothing for granted. Time is slipping away.
|Probably never to be repeated again - one of our many dinners out at local cafes in Delaware|