Unplanned Sadness


Saturday January 4th, 2014 – Normal, IL/Island Lake, IL

I had a strong feeling before 2014 started that it would be a year full of dramatic changes. What I wrongly assumed is that they’d all be as positive as the vibe I’ve been in of late. That vibe took a serious hit as I received word my roommate Sheri suffered a major stroke on New Year’s Eve.

I got a text message out of the blue from Sheri’s friend Debra as I was driving home, and I had to pull the car over so I could make sure I was understanding what it said. I couldn’t believe what I was reading, but I don’t think Debra would make something like that up. She and Sheri go way back, but I’ve only met her a couple of times. There’s no reason for her to play any jokes on me.

Apparently, some friends had tried to call and text Sheri to wish her a Happy New Year but got no response. That’s not like Sheri, and they eventually got worried and went to see if she was ok. From what I’m hearing that’s when they found her unconscious on the floor and called for help.

I wouldn’t have expected this scenario in a million years. Sheri is a few years younger than me, and I’ve known her at least twenty years. She was a waitress and bartender at the Zanies Comedy Club in Vernon Hills, IL, and was even the manager for a brief time. It was down to her and one other person and the other person got it, but she still worked there on and off for years after that.

The staff at that particular Zanies was and is one of the closest knit workplace groups I’ve ever seen anywhere. Those people were more like family to me than my blood family the last twenty years, and there’s something very comforting about that. I love those people, and they love me.

The last three living situations I’ve had were all with former Zanies employees who had houses and rented me a room. The first two lasted three years each, and that’s pretty rare. I can’t say that I’d live at Sheri’s that long, mainly because it’s out in the sticks and difficult to get into the city.

Sheri inherited some money several years ago, and decided to buy a house. She asked me what I thought, and I told her it was her money and she should do what she wanted. It wouldn’t be my choice, but that’s not the issue in question. She decided she wanted it, so that’s what she chose.

Over the time she owned it she got and lost a couple of jobs and had a few roommates move in and out, and she always told me I’d have a place there because she knew I would pay her rent on time and not trash the place – which was true. I told her the location didn’t fit my needs but I was still thankful for her generosity. Sheri was always a giving person, to the point of getting used.

That happens with giving souls, as I’m one too. There are always those few scumbags that ruin it, and that’s just how it is. I would never abuse Sheri or anyone else’s kindness, and she knew it. When I needed a place to crash at least temporarily in December, I knew Sheri would let me stay until I decided what to do. I knew she could use the rent for Christmas, so it worked out ideally.

I had no idea how long I would stay, but my plans were to not make it long. Now, I’m not sure what’s going to happen. I have no idea how long she’ll be hospitalized, or how bad the damage is from her stroke. Hopefully, she’ll make a full recovery. Whatever she would need from me I will gladly do. If I have to leave, I’ll do that too. It’s all about her needs, but what a shock this all is.

I couldn't be any sadder after hearing what happened to a friend I've known for many years. Life can be SO unfair.

I couldn’t be any sadder after hearing what happened to a friend I’ve known for twenty years. Life can be SO unfair.

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