Sunday, June 13, 2010

My Friend Had a Heart Attack

My friend Susan Bardwell, the painter of the picture in the previous post, had a heart attack today.
I've never met her in person.  She lives down near Houston, Texas, and is a funny writer/journalist as well as a talented artist. David and Jane Shepherd introduced us, via email, and we've had a daily correspondence for the last two (three?) years. Like me, she's a smart aleck; has two adult sons roughly the same age as our sons who live with her and her husband; and has a grandson who lives with them because his father (her older son) has custody, so she ends up being mommy most of the time. Our grand daughter lived with us for almost three years, age almost 2 to almost 5, so I got to be mommy again for a while, also. We relate.
She and her husband produce what she calls a "paperless," The Angleton Journal,an electronic web newspaper they put out every Monday, and she writes a humor column for it. I haven't written a humor column since Rick got sick, but know what it's like and commiserate with her on the misery of deadlines.
My favorite quote on deadlines, and I can't remember who said it, is: "I love deadlines. I love the wooshing sound they make as they go by."
Susan is NOT like me in that she is a pretty good judge of character. I tend to think that everyone's great, unless I take an immediate dislike to someone, and I've often been wrong in my first takes, mostly about that thinking everyone's great. Susan worked for years as a crime reporter for the Houston Chronicle. She certainly got well acquainted with the less attractive side of human character there, and minces no words when she expresses her opinion of same.
She's a fierce mama lion for her family, and loves her whole overextended family in a prodigal fashion.
We came up with the acronym FASTOB, which stands for, "fat, average, sarcastic, tough old broad." Our sisterhood.
Oh, carp, she's just a real great buddy, and I hate it that she had a heart attack. I know she had one, at least, before, in her early 40s, and had some stents put in, so I guess it's not totally out of the blue, but it stinks. It sounds like the EMTs and the local hospital got the clot buster (or whatever) into her before she was airlifted so the obstruction was removed - washed away - I don't know – soon, and by the time the helicopter has taken her to the big hospital in Houston (Herrmann, I think) she was feeling better.
Her husband said she was scared, but by the time they left her at the hospital in Houston this evening she was joking with them. She'll be in the hospital a couple of days at least.
I'm still praying, for her health, and in thanks for EMTs, techs, doctors, nurses, and hospitals. We've spent so much time in the precincts of these people the last year and a half, and have acquired such respect and appreciation for them.
I am hoping she continues recovering well, and after she's home I'm going to try giving her a call. We've never actually spoken to each other. I think it's time.

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