Last Saturday, I received a mysterious email from my friend Psychic Sue.
"I need your cell phone number. It's important. Can't tell you through email."
I've known Psychic Sue since right after college. She used to live in a trailer park on the outskirts of Eldredge, and has a bigger sense of adventure than I could ever hope to have. She's the only person I know who's taken all her clothes off at the top of the Rockies. She calls herself Medicine Woman, she's traveled to Romania, she's an accomplished actress, she's a Rheiki therapist, and she's one of the top ten people that I'm glad I met during my life.
Sue lives in Vermont now, so I don't see much of her. A few years ago, she met her true love and moved away from Eldredge. However, we still keep in touch, from time to time. She's one of the old guard from my days running a community theater--a core group of friends that I'm linked to, for all time, no matter what the distance. We've smudged many a theater space together. She's the person who would always use the phrase "love and light," an expression of peace that I once used on Live Journal as a way of trying to make amends (unfortunately, it came across as too corny and the person I sent it to, and his friends, mocked me for months after that. C'est la vie.)
So I was a bit nervous by her mail, but sent it to her, immediately, with hesitation.
I received a call about thirty minutes later. "It's Paul," she said.
Paul's her younger brother. A big, affable guy. Never had the ambition that Sue had, but always has a smile on his face. I loved to cast him in shows because he had a great talent for accents. His best role (I kid you not) was Scumbiscuit, a cook with a French accent (don't ask, okay?). Last time I saw him, he was bagging groceries at a supermarket.
"What's going on, Sue?"
"He just needs everyone's thoughts right now. He just needs a lot of white light."
"Okay," Sue always liked the big, broad opening stanza. "So what's going on, Sue?"
"Paul's had diabetes for quite some time now, and about three months ago, he was driving to work, and he lost his vision. Just, suddenly. These past few months he's been living in his apartment, basically alone. He's had several surgeries, even though he doesn't have insurance, but they haven't been very successful. Tuesday he has a major surgery, and if this doesn't work, there's not much more that can be done. He's been really positive through all of this, but these past few days, he's been losing hope. So, we need to bring the big guns in. Would you mind letting Josie know, and giving him a call? I think it would mean more than you would know."
"Of course." I mean, of course I would. I'd do anything for Paul, and so would Josie.
The only question I had in my mind was: how do you start the conversation?
That was the same question Josie asked me, later in the day. Of course, she wanted to call, too, but what do you say when you call? "Hey Paul, heard you were blind. Wanted to help!"
No, no, no, no, no.
I actually felt weird, as I stood there in Josie's living room, with my cell phone in my hand and the phone number on the table. But I kept telling myself, it's just like getting a needle at the doctor's. The trick is to get over your apprehension, move forward, and before you know it, it's fine.
Paul answered on the second ring. "Hello?" His voice still instantly recognizable, a decade later. A light tenor, making it perfect for Three Stooges imitations.
"Paul," I said, "It's Ted."
"Oh my god," he said, shocked. And, pleased. It made me feel good inside to hear that sound.
Josie joined in on a group call. The pleasure you could hear in his voice was unmistakable. It made me feel good for the rest of the day, quite honestly.
Monday morning, I woke up to the following message:
I wanted to take a moment to thank you profoundly for calling Paul this weekend and for passing the info on to others that they may do the same. I've spoken to Paul several times over the past two days and his spirits were lifted tremendously! And we all know that healing has a better chance of taking place while the body is in a state of relaxation, peace and contentment. The surgery is happening this morning, as I write this. I'll keep ya posted! Please pass along my thanks to Lisa and Pauline as well.
Peace, Love and Light,
Well, Paul had his surgery on Tuesday. He's staying with his other sister. According to Sue, he's unable to see a THING right now (right eye is crap, left eye will be bandaged for a while), but his family is personally attending to him, to check blood sugar levels and administer the other meds he's on. The docs will still not offer a prognosis and even said that it could be a whole month before Paul experiences any return and they would be able to see any improvements (if any were to occur).
This is a situation where a lot of love and light would be a real good thing.