|Ed - 2010|
This has been some month folks. Two weeks ago I lost my longtime friend Bob, whom I've known for 54 years (having met when we were both joined the Army in 1960).
|Ed (far right) and Howard (now deceased) at my apartment in Coatesville, PA - 1963|
Ed is another longtime friend I've known even longer. I've known Ed since my high school days in the Fifties. I think we met in 1956 or 1957 through mutual friends. Even though Ed is gay, we didn't meet under those circumstances. Ed was just part of our circle of friends.
|Ed (left), me and our friend Ron H. (deceased) - 1964 at the apartment Bill and I had in Pennsauken, NJ|
By the way, Ed asked me a few years ago to never post his picture or write about him in my blog but I'm making an exception this time. I won't mention his last name so as to eliminate the possibility of anyone finding him by an Internet search but I did want to post about my longtime friend now because of recent developments.
|Me and Ed at his Rehoboth Beach house - 2005|
Over the years, Ed and I have had several falling outs which have resulted in years going by in which we haven't been in contact. I've had the same circumstance happen with other friends (Bob M. being the exception) but we've always gotten back together, right Lar?
|Ed and my late friend Bob M. at Ed's Pennsylvania house - 1987|
Ed lives and works in Pennsylvania. Ed also has a house in Rehoboth Beach. I stayed at Ed's house several times before I made the move to Delaware. Ed is the same age as I am and he still works. He works full-time. He doesn't have to work but I think he doesn't have anything else to do with his time so he works. He does like to come down on the weekends to Rehoboth and occasionally we get together for dinner.
|Ed, me and the Cajun at Rigby's - Rehoboth Beach - 2009|
The past year or so Ed has been in failing health. Yes, another longtime friend in ailing health.
Last week I tried to get in touch with Ed. I called all three of his numbers (house in Rehoboth, house in Pennsylvania and his cell phone). No answer. That's not like Ed. He always calls back.
As the days went by I was getting more and more concerned that I hadn't heard from Ed. So this morning I made calls. First I called our mutual friend Don. Don hadn't heard from him.
|Ed at his Rehoboth Beach home with his late partner Jay who died five years ago - 2007|
Then I called his workplace in Pennsylvania. I inquired and the person who answered the phone told me "Ed's not in work." I asked him why and he said he couldn't tell me. I told him who I was and that Ed lived alone and I was concerned. He said he would transfer me to his boss, Ed's manager. I called and left a voice mail. Ed's manager called me back a half an hour later and told me that Ed was in the hospital.
As I said earlier Ed's been having health issues that I won't go into detail here but he had just gotten out of the hospital here in Lewes during his last visit. I was concerned, especially after having lost my friend Bob this week. His boss told me that when Ed didn't come to work and they couldn't contact him he called Ed's neighbor. They couldn't get him to come to the door. Then Ed's boss called the police who broke in Ed's house and found him lying on the floor. They called EMT who took him to the hospital. And that is where Ed is now.
|Ed and the Cajun at the Purple Parrot - 2010|
I called him at the hospital and got him on the phone. I asked him "What are you doing Ed?" (I can joke around with Ed, I want to bring out that sense of humor he used to have but seems to have lost the past year or so since his health issue have become more severe.
He told me he had fallen out of his bed on the floor and couldn't get his legs to move. I asked "How could that happen?" He said he uses a ladder to climb into his bed because he likes a "high" bed (news to me) and he had fallen and hit the ladder. This happened last Thursday night. He laid on the floor for hours until eleven the next day when the police broke into his house and found him.
He said his cell phone was out of his reach on the floor. He tried to reach it but couldn't.
The EMT took him to the Paoli hospital which is where he is now. I asked him if the EMT guys who picked him up were cute. He angrily responded "Why do you ask me something like that?" Uh oh, no sense of humor. I'll let it go. I told him that the EMT guys who came and got me and put me in the ambulance last year while I was undergoing my kidney stone adventure were very comforting for me, especially one really butch guy who held my hand and rested it on his inner thigh. I told him he didn't have to hold my hand but he said "I'm comforting you" which indeed he was. He was straight so there was none of THAT but he did comfort me. I thought maybe Ed had a similar experience plus I wanted to make him laugh, something I've been unable to do for about a year now.
|Ed and Pat - 2014|
I asked him what was happening with him now at the hospital. He said they're running tests. He has movement back in his legs but they're still keeping him the hospital. I asked him "So when are you going to quit your job?" He said "Never!" Over the years I have kidded him about working and dying at his desk like his father (who was a bank president). Now it seems as if he wants to duplicate his father's demise.
So friends, blog followers and others; another friend who isn't doing well and the prognosis isn't encouraging.
I urged him to quit his job and live down here permanently but he still seems resistant to that notion. Maybe after he gets out of the hospital, he won't have a choice.
Not to make this about me but it seems like lately my past is slipping away.
|Me and Ed at Lori's Cafe in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware - 2010|