A Shitty Week

Last week was a shitty week.

Many of us expected a different president, confident in Trump’s loss. We were horrified and depressed not just by the day, but by the vision of the years stretching ahead. And while sat stunned and mourning, his supporters have been celebrating this great triumph, their candidate ascended.

For most of last week, I didn’t do FaceBook. Avoided the news. I didn’t talk to many people. But after escaping the temporary despair enough to talk to a close friend, we shared our election sadness. She told me, “I never thought he’d win. I mean, I couldn’t vote for her, of course, so I voted for the third party. But I never thought Trump would win.”

I was furious with her, throwing away her vote as she did. I’m furious with me. I should have campaigned more. I volunteered for the Hillary campaign and twice when they texted me, asking for weekend time, I texted back, yes. But when they didn’t contact me to inform me where and when, I let it slide. I’m furious with me, too.

I feel belligerent with my countrymen, and I want to protest the future. I’m worried about friends, our economy, the rest of the world, and so many more on the list. But this is not an anti-Trump message.

This post is not about my shitty week.

Cindy and Mike married fifteen years ago and stayed in love for every single one of them. Most of those years, she worked as a police Sargent in a small town. She devoted herself to serving the community. Honestly, I don’t know them. They are friends of my sister-in-law, and I met them at my brother’s wedding. This was a very happy day in our family history, because we love my sister-in-law. In fact, I mostly know this couple from the wedding video. When Cindy and Mike show up on film, we cheer, because they are damn crazy on the dance floor. They’re the kind of couple who go grab people from tables to dance. They lead the chicken dance. They danced the slow dances, entranced with each other. Mike serenaded my brother with a love song, which made us all giggle.

Cindy and Mike made these newlyweds happier on one of the happiest days of their lives. Obviously, Cindy and Mike have a soft spot in my heart. I love to see my brother laugh.

This week, while sitting on a plastic pail in the garage (her favorite enjoy-a-cigarette spot), chatting on the phone with her brother, Cindy suffered an aneurysm. Her far-away brother, concerned by the abrupt end to the conversation, called Mike.

Mike found Cindy unconscious near the overturned pail. He called 911 and administered CPR for twenty minutes. Mike is a trained EMT, which means he also devoted his life in service to others. He kept her alive, but her brain was dead.

Can you imagine? The love of your life is unconscious on the cold garage cement, and you don’t know why. In that moment, Mike did not know her brain was dead–he only knew the dawning horror at the possibility of losing his true love. But he kept breathing life into her because his love was greater than his fear.

He loved her.

They decided to end Cindy’s life support two days later.

Two other things you should know about Cindy and Mike.

First, they vote Republican.

I’m not sure if they voted for Trump–I’m not clear what day and time Cindy’s aneurysm took place. I do not intend to ask. Most likely, they would be  Trump supporters. Right now, I’m so ready to vilify people who support Trump. How could you? How could you? I never had an in-depth conversation with Cindy or Mike, but I assume we disagreed on politics. Then again, maybe they had no intention of voting for Trump. There are flavors of Republican.

When I contemplate Mike’s future, I do not ponder “how liberal is he?” My sister-in-law, who attended the out-of-state funeral over the weekend, reported to our family, “He is destroyed.”

The second thing to know about them is that she donated her organs. She and Mike did this one last amazing dance together. She gifted her body. He kept her body alive–obviously hoping for more of her to live–long enough that her wishes could be honored. Together, Cindy and Mike gave six families in the world a reason to give thanks this month.

Six families changed because of the love Cindy and Mike had for each other.

Puts my shitty week in perspective.

4 Responses to “A Shitty Week”

  1. Steven Warren Says:

    After reading this, I’m sitting here crying and just want to drive over to your house, knock on your door, wrap my arms around you and sob…..
    Thank you, Edmond, for sharing this message…. an important one for all of us in these scary and uncertain times.
    Love to you ~~

  2. Edmond Says:

    Steven, the only reason you feel that way is because you’re a beautiful, beautiful man. Thank you for sharing this grief with me.

  3. Paul Ewert Says:

    I read this and felt numb. I felt nothing. I felt like a real bastard about it. Then I realized that my feelings were this way because it was hitting scar tissue in my heart. I felt nothing because I went through something like this with my mother twenty-one years ago. (It is a story that is much to long to tell in this way.)

    After that, I realized Mike has joined a club that no member seeks others to join. It is a club that every member hopes he is the last member of it. It is a club that requires the utmost in compassion, understanding and support from non-members. The description of being destroyed may be an understatement. Mike’s future has been annihilated.

    Not only has he lost the love of his life, he lost the future he hoped to share with Cindy. Every hope, aspiration, plan, daydream and fantasy he held in his heart burned up like flashpaper in a furnace.

    Mike has the agonizing task of continuing his life without Cindy, of rebuilding his future with a newer, duller sun in the sky. A future with many agonizing realizations of just how many voids were created. Voids that will exist until adaptations are made or are filled with scar tissue.

    I offer prayers of strength, comfort and guidance to Mike and his family because I know just how important support is during a time like this.


  4. Edmond Says:

    Paul, your comment here is beautiful. I don’t want to say too much about it because it would detract from the beauty of your reflections. But, brother, you get it. You fucking get it. All there is in this world is love. And when it’s gone…fuck.

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