Things about Her Hollyness: She had a wicked, quirky, dark, sense of humor. I may miss that the most. I don't have that many people in my life who can go there with me. When she was newly diagnosed, she told me her biggest fear was how embarrassing it would be if she didn't die. She loved the Cubs. Damn them for not giving her the joy of a World Series win. She took forever to order in a restaurant, even if she had been there dozens of times. And in the end she would order the same damn thing she always did. "I'll have won-ton soup and an egg roll." Really? That takes 15 minutes to decide? I bought a house with less deliberation. She had tattoos of the paw prints of her beloved pets that had died. Hope you're running with Maddie and Taylor now. She adopted Trinity, a cat who had been terribly injured, and had had one of her legs amputated. Holly spent hours, shut in a bedroom, laying on the floor while Trin hid under a bed. It took her a long time, but eventually she won Trinity over. It was an act of true love.
Befriending Holly required similar dedication. She was sometimes bristly or brusque, which I originally mistakenly identified as rudeness, rather than the wariness it really was. But the rewards were significant. A loyal friend, who thought to do things for me that I hadn't realized needed doing. The first Christmas after my father died, Holly called, telling me she had bought a wreath for my father's grave, and was it ok for her to put it there for me? The day I entered my mom into hospice, I looked up and Holly was there with a Pepsi and SpongeBob Square Pants candy. A few years ago I was recovering from a long illness, and temporarily needed a walker. My ex told me she had asked Holly to find one for me. I groaned, because I knew what was coming. Indeed, she showed up with the walker later that day. A gaily festooned walker. Stickers all over it, streamers on the hand grips, a bicycle bell in front. So I was happy to be able to return the favor this spring. I purchased vomit bags for her to use during chemo that had a huge picture of a stick figure puking on the outside.
When Holly was diagnosed with stage IV stomach cancer this spring, she accepted her diagnosis with stunning grace. She didn't whinge on about "Why me?" She said, "Why not me?" As our friend Tammy said, "This has been her finest hour." Amen.
I'm a conch, a local Key Wester, but I'm exiled to the frozen north, hence the "ExPat." I'm a political junkie, and wanted to share the discussions I have with my friends who maybe aren't as dorky as I am. But ought to be.