Email exchange between me and my very dear friend and Saturday walking/talking partner:
Me: Yes to walking to the Farmer’s Market next Saturday! Have a good week.
Meg: I slipped while walking and fell. Next thing I knew, I had broken my right femur. It required surgery.
(This doesn’t sound like my chatty friend, but of course in an emergency, in distress, one would be brief. I am just glad she took a minute to let me know.)
Me: Meg, is this true? I am SO SORRY. Are you home now?
(I interrupt my husband to tell him the horrible news. We can’t believe a fit, vigorous Meg could have such a fall. And to break a FEMUR? The long bone- how tough is that to break? We talk about how freakish a fall it must have been, maybe her sweet doggie pulled her suddenly at a terrible place? How, how could this happen to Meg?)
Me again: Meg, I am sick to hear this. But thank you for letting me know. I know you have lots of loving family around you but I will appear in a flash when you want me. If all this was today I expect you want rest. I’ll keep checking in. Love to you and your healing leg.
(It is not just an expression- I did feel sick at heart and almost physically sick at this news.)
Meg: I will have hip replacement surgery tomorrow. Please, I need you to help me pick up a Google play gift card either today or tomorrow for my friend who is a cancer patient and her birthday is today. I tried getting them online on Amazon but could not. I think Amazon is having issues with online ordering. Wondering if you can get it from any store around you and have it emailed to me? I’ll pay back. Kindly let me know if you can handle this. Thanks so much.
Of course when I got ahold of Meg she grimly said she was spending her evening clearing up this hack. We traded sympathy and the worst mad-face emojis we could find.
(I actually searched for “furious”- I never used those emojis before.)
But while I believed this lie for only about 20 minutes of an evening, it took root, it lingers. I keep finding myself worrying about my friend. What a long recovery it will be. Oh, wait, its not true. Thinking what can I do to help? That’s right, no need. Just now I thought, tomorrow is Saturday , we sure can’t go to the market like we planned, I’ll see if I can visit and how will she be, and what can I take that’s nice? No, tomorrow is fine, as usual, it was all a lie.