Thursday, April 1, 2010

A walk down town with my camera to learn on a bus bench from a perfect stranger that Tammy died

I was having a nice time taking photos of a beautiful purple bank of flowers, a tree in front of the University Center breaking into yellow bloom, another tree, and then I bought a delicious pastrami sandwich at the deli to split with Doc, ate my half, and found I was too tired and one foot hurt so I could not walk home. I was sitting on the bus bench and happened to mention to a perfect stranger sitting there that I only lived up a few blocks to the Westward Ho but I was tired so was catching a bus. He said, "Do you know Tammy Parrit?" While I was thinking he said, "I saw in the paper two weeks or so ago that she died and the La Paz funeral home was looking for someone who knew her people so they could be notified! I remembered and said, "Tammy, oh no, Tammy died??"
And I described the woman I knew at the Westward Ho named Tammy. She had narcolepsy and would go to sleep, fall down, and hurt herself something awful." "Yes, that's Tammy!" he said. "She had the most beautiful long brown wavy hair and she kept it so clean and shining no matter how sick she was." "Yes, Yes. I think I know the guy she was married to, Parrit." "I don't know much about her people because I would see her with a black eye or a broken arm or hurt shoulder, and she would say she went to sleep and fell down. I was very interested in her case because I had never met anyone with such severe narcolepsy before. That was not all. The last thing that happened to her besides about losing her kidneys was such advanced celulitis in her legs she could no longer step in the tub. We talked about that, so she finally got a scooter." He said, "I am sorry to tell you this." I said, "No, I was just thinking I haven't seen Tammy for a while, I am going to have to inquire about her." I said she was always walking slowly wherever she went. For years. She was struggling for years. Oh Tammy, Tammy," I said, "Always smiled even if it was kind of a weak smile. She will go right straight to heaven I know." He agreed that Tammy was a very brave girl.
My bus came as he said he would try to call Fran at the Westward Ho and see if he could get any more names and then he would call the La Paz funeral home.
I went back to the Westward Ho and stopped by Fran's office. She said Tammy died in the tub, and they had sold things in her apartment to pay for her burial. No, they had not found anyone to call.
And I thought the photo of this bank of beautiful purple flowers I am going to dedicate to her, she was a very brave girl. Yes, she looked like a girl still, 52, but sick for the 7 or 8 years I knew her. I hope she is out of her pain now. I never once saw her when she was just happy and carefree, going somewhere to have fun. No, she was always walking with pain in perpetual crisis. But she never gave up.
Goodby, Tammy, these flowers are for you, in memory of you. I am sad you are gone, but glad your long ordeal is over. I hope you are healed at last.


Amrita said...

Oh what a sad story to read on Good Friday morning here. But its good Tammt got out of her pain and suffering. Sad no family around.
Was she a Christian?

Really like your photo.

Gerry said...

I don't know, but she was a very kindly person, so I am sure her goodness will carry her a long ways in the after life.

Jeanie said...

I seem to remember you talked about Tammy once befre in your journal Gerry.
How sad that she has gone and what a shock you got finding out about her in such a way.
Poor lady! To die in such a way was awful for her. Her life must have been full of pain and fear because of her condition.
I'm sure her suffering here on earth has helped her straight into heaven. Poor soul!
God rest her.
That's a great idea about the flowers. Name them Tammy's flowers.
Jeanie xxxx

Connie said...

Aww- so sorry about Tammy.
May she rest in peace.
Such a young age to have suffered for so long and to go at an early age. I am sure she is walking the roads in heaven.


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