I have a friend who is slipping away.
I don't know for sure, but I picture the tumors in her brain sprawling like tendrils through her once brilliant mind, scrambling neurons and causing all manner of misfires and strange connections. Mostly, she seems to enjoy the strangeness and is still quick to laugh – at the world, at her sadly diminished self.
Yesterday, we talked about roses, coral and pink, and planned a wildflower garden for the north side of her house. "Next year, when I'm better," she said, "I'll plant those roses." I promised to help.
There won't be a next year and, I suspect, somewhere in her shrinking but still sparkling consciousness, she understands. What else would explain her sudden outburst of anger when I mentioned the patch of lily-of-the-valley at her front door.
"I hate that they've taken spring away from me."
Green is for you, Betsy.