I tried very hard to write last night but all I could do was stare at my screen. It didn’t help that I couldn’t stop crying. My day started beautifully: I had brunch at Fred’s with a friend who is getting married next weekend. She will be gorgeously draped in a Vera Wang gown with her gorgeous husband-to-be. Then, she will be whisked away to the Amalfi Coast on her honeymoon. A fairy tale vision, right? Yes, indeed. But then after I said good bye to my friend, I got a voicemail. It was my colleague, a man I have known for 12 years who is dying from melanoma. What’s strange is that I decided that I wasn’t going to visit him after sending him a text a few days ago and getting a strange response, which I thought meant that he didn’t want me to visit him. Knowing that I would probably miss the news of his death as well as his funeral while I’m in Barcelona made me feel guilty, sad, whatever. So I returned his call and he answered, and I told him I would visit him. He sounded VERY upbeat, whereas before, I was told that he was pretty far out there as he was on hourly morphine doses. So off I went to visit him at the hospice center. The elevator that I had to take seemed like miles away from the check-in desk for some reason, and because there was absolutely no one at all in the halls, I felt like I was in some horror movie where I get killed somehow. Strange, I know, but that’s how it felt. When I entered the room, I did not recognize my colleague. A nice looking man who is 51 years old who always looked 10 years younger, my friend now was a bald man, gaunt, expressionless, who looked close to 100 years old. No lie. No exaggeration. Thank goodness his sister and his friend were there because otherwise, I would have lost it right in front of him. The good thing was, he was very alert and aware. It was good to just catch up, and I’m so glad I sat with him. I even watched him eat his dinner. After visiting for some time, he signaled for everyone to leave the room as he was very tired and needed his rest. I gave him a hug trying to not disturb the tubes running alongside of him. As I turned away, my friend said, “Have fun in Barcelona.”
Yes, I will absolutely, most definitely HAVE FUN IN BARCELONA. The visit with my dying friend further ignites my passion for more travel. I want to do all that I can while I still can. As my friend can tell you, life is SO very short. Yes, to LIFE. Yes, to TRAVEL. Yes. My flight leaves in 12 hours!