There’s a lovely photograph of a dancer that hangs above my computer desk, watching over me as I work.
It was taken by the father of one of my dearest friends. I scored it at a charity auction many years ago.
The photographer lost his battle with cancer last Friday. My friend has spent the last few days with her family, organising a beautiful funeral for him.
I wanted to go to the funeral and give her a hug. It’s being held in Mudgee today – I figured I could get up early, turn the music up loud in my car and get there and back by dark.
Those plans went by the wayside when I got a call from my ex yesterday, announcing his suspicion that the youngest has whooping cough.
Just a few short weeks after having an endless flu, the youngest is breathless and coughing up a lung.
My ex took the day off and headed to the doctor, where the youngest was swabbed for whooping cough and sent home with a mega dose of steroids to ease the inflammation.
There will be a tiny baby at the funeral today who hasn’t been immunised. I figured a suspected case of whooping cough wouldn’t be welcome near the little one.
It was time for me to make a belated call.
I hate talking on the phone. Hate it. I haven’t been a great friend over the past few weeks – I’ve let my phobia control my communication, just sending supportive texts instead of phoning.
So I took a deep breath and finally spoke to my friend. I wished her luck with the funeral and gave her my love.
Then I cried. And she started comforting me.
Not really the way the conversation was supposed to go. But my friend is pretty special – she started asking questions about my life, checking if everything was OK.
I wished out loud that there was something I could do for her … and that I’d been a better friend.
But she dismissed my angst and we promised to get together for a drink or lunch next week. I will hug her hard when I see her.
Vale Christopher, you must have been a pretty wonderful man to have created such a lovely daughter.
Song of the day: The Beatles “In My Life”