I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

So Long


I knew Marco for over 25 years. Round tables, children’s birthdays, parties, races and many conversations.  I don't remember the last time I saw him. I don’t remember our last conversation before it all unfolded.

Some time at the end of the summer of 2013, Rene, his best friend in the US as Marco referred to him, came home disturbed after taking him to the doctor. Marco complained of a massive headache. His behavior was erratic, his conversation strange. A stroke was a possible cause. A stroke at 50? I marveled.
When Marco was admitted to Westchester Medical Center I visited him there, but who I saw was not the reserved, almost introvert man. In bed was a man talking incessantly, kicking the sheets, jumping up and down and introducing me to the nurses.  I would visit again after the first brain surgery.
Between the first and second surgeries subsequent to the diagnosis of Glio Bastoma I saw him a few times. Each time I wondered when the man I knew would surface again.

One day, while this once vibrant and strong man laid bedridden, I chatted about my physical therapy in an effort to fill the uncomfortable pauses. He looked at me and said “I need physical therapy too” He showed me his already paralyzed left arm. He talked then about running a race once he regained mobility. He shared all the details. It would be a 5K. We would gather after and talk over coffee and food.  There he was, the detailed running enthusiast once again.
But it was the last time I saw him that I knew Marco was present. His eyes half closed, he no longer spoke.  I approached the bed hesitant as we do when we are afraid of what we are going to see. “I ran Boston on Monday, Marco. See the jacket? You ran it too. Boston, Marco. Boston” Then it happened. For a fraction of a second his eyes focused on me and the jacket. His love for running, his memory of Boston reached him wherever he was.
We are making his wish come true in his memory.
On July 18th we will run that 5K he talked about. We hope you will join us. It will be yet one more time when Marco, the man we knew, will be with us.