Total Avoidance

**Dibs on title** Total Avoidance would be a great name for a short story. I’ll have to write that as soon as I get on with this avoidance thing.

I am so not good at this shit.

I watched another movie over the weekend and I can’t get it out of my head. It sounded funny. It was funny. It really was–at times. At other times it was completely gut-wrenching for me.

The movie is Two Weeks. “In this bittersweet comedy, four adult siblings gather at their dying mother’s house in North Carolina for what they expect to be a quick, last goodbye. Instead, they find themselves trapped– together — for two weeks.”

I’ve been trying to avoid thinking about it since I finished the movie. But it doesn’t go away. I wrote about my best friend in the whole world dying and dammit I miss her.

I keep waiting for her late night phone calls and her 3 part messages on my phone. I hear her voice in my head constantly. I find little things all over my house that she sent me. Things that are just stupid to everyone else, but they tell me a story. They remind me that Jill cared enough about me to think of me and she’d send it or give it to me while I was visiting. A Starbucks sleeve, a Hershey’s chocolate mug that says Jim on it. A little “shit shovel” for my brain. And she’s gone. Fucking cancer.

What hit me most about that movie, a lot of it hit me hard, but there was a part–

Sally Fields is the mom dying of cancer. At one point her daughter tells the brother, “That’s it. She waited for the grandkids.”

And Jill waited for me. I brought her mom down, stayed a week with her, laughed, cried, watched New Year’s Eve fireworks from her hospital room, and left. Do you know how hard it was to leave knowing I’d never see her again? I kissed her forehead again and again and didn’t want to move. I told her I loved her over and over and tried so hard not to break down. I couldn’t hug her because it hurt her little body too much.

I started the drive from South Carolina back up home and it was horrible. I had lunch with a friend that day in Kentucky, thank you God. And Jill called to make sure I got there. She could barely breathe or talk, but she called to make I got there okay.

Was I that kind of friend to her? God, I hope so.

I always thought those little gift books were stupid. But with Jill’s posty notes and handwritten funnies inside, I now know I’m the stupid one.

She’d slap me upside the head and change the subject if she were sitting here with me. She’d babble on and on about silly, fun stuff until she had me in tears of laughter instead of sadness.

I still have her phone number on my cell phone. I still go to her blog and read over and over few posts she put up. What do I do with that?

3 thoughts on “Total Avoidance”

  1. Now I’m crying.
    I know Jill couldn’t have had a better best friend.
    Death sucks. It hurts. It digs into this scarred tissue, scraping and clawing.
    But, ah, the resurrection. The day we’ll laugh together again. Death, where is your victory? Where is your sting?
    Someday, death will melt away.

  2. I’m so sorry. I cried when I read this. Although the mug that says Jim made me laugh.

    I’m just so, so sorry for your pain.


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