Life & Death

August 25, 2015
Annie Scholl

This blog posted on Huffington Post on 09-02-15.

My friend is fighting for her life. Prayer requests are going out and prayers are going up. Family members are flying to be by her side. Facebook is lit up with posts of love and support for her and her family.

Words. Prayers. Hope. That’s all we can offer.

This morning I took my usual walk with our dogs around a cemetery at a little Methodist church across the street from our home. My friend is on my mind. I’m remembering we went to a little bar in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, our hometown. We were in high school, maybe 17, certainly not old enough to be there. My friend drank and smoked. I did neither.

The rule-follower loved this rule-breaker and vice versa.

I haven’t seen my friend in years–or talked to her even. Thanks to Facebook, we’ve been in contact, though. I’ve followed her posts–updates about her health challenge, her struggles mixed in with her triumphs. The victories were often small, but she celebrated them anyway.

She’s scrappy, this friend of mine.

I’ve offered words of encouragement. I’ve cheered her on. I’ve told her I love her. I’ve suggested books. I’ve shared uplifting quotes.

We were separated only by distance.

She’s 13 hours from me, lying in a hospital bed. It’s all I can do to not get in my car and drive to her. Instead I walk and talk to her in my head. I tell her I love her. I wish her well, whichever path she takes.

Healing, I’ve learned again and again, isn’t always about living.

Last night I went to the YMCA–my first workout in months. I thought of my friend, thought of the times she posted on Facebook about taking short walks and feeling victorious. My feisty friend was doing her best to say ‘fuck you’ to this disease. She was making the best of the situation.

She was fighting.

On the treadmill, I listened to The Jackson 5, my favorite workout music. Each time I punched the buttons to make the treadmill go faster, the incline steeper, I thought of my friend. She would give anything to be on this treadmill, to have a body that did as it was told.

Friends, my god, we gotta quit our bitching. About our bodies, our country, our world, our mothers and fathers, our children.

If we’ve got bodies and minds that work, we gotta use them for the good.

We’ve got to start doing what we want to do and quit doing what we don’t want to do.

On my morning walk with my pups, I looked at where they were sniffing. At my feet was a bright-yellow butterfly, its wings stretched out against the black asphalt driveway, perfectly beautiful, except that it was dead.

I want my friend to live, but I want her to live only if living is better than dying.

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  1. liss sinak says:

    Wow Annie – wow!

  2. ReNuYourLife says:

    Annie, this made me cry. We are so focused on the most ridiculous, superficial things. I had a conversation with my mom just this morning. She was complaining because she has weight around her mid-section and wrinkles. She’s 88 for God’s sake!! She has her own hips and knees, her hearing, she doesn’t need oxygen or a walker, much less a wheelchair. I told her I know so many people half her age and most of my clients that would love their only problem to be weight in the mid-section and wrinkles!
    Let’s just learn to love ourselves and others and be thankful for what we are blessed with. So many are going through things we can’t even imagine. My heart and prayers go out to your friend, and to you. ♡

  3. Tina Amro says:

    Beautifully written, completely true, and exactly what I felt and needed to hear. Thank you. Nice tribute to a beautiful woman.

  4. Joani Mihal-Mabry says:

    that was very moving. i love all you said. I don’t remember alot from our high school days. my sister is constantly ribbing me about my memory. i don’t know why i had great high school memories. But i do remember Delise and her personality was big and she seemed to be a friend to many. My prayers to you and yours. Hope to see you at the next reunion. Joani

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