Saturday, June 25, 2011

We Need Your Help

Today's post was going to be about a festival in Excelsior Springs....a lovingly written post of pancake breakfasts, corn dogs, funnel cakes and hot air balloon rides. I was helping man the D.E.P. booth at Waterfest during the morning and heading out to meet friends for dinner and a performance of Shakespeare in the Park. This day became about so much more.

The previous evening, we had heard late in the evening that our friend Carolyn had collapsed at her home and was rushed to the hospital. We anxiously awaited word as to her condition and today, as news trickled in, the gravity of the situation sank in: Carolyn had suffered a heart attack and the next 24 hours are critical. Her brain function was of great concern and at first, her husband Jim and their dear friend Kiko simply sent out word as to her condition. Friends started to descend and Keith accompanied John, the local chief of police out to Liberty Hospital to visit her. When Keith returned from his visit, he was ashen...and I soon was made aware that the situation was far more dire than either of us had realized. We checked Jim's Facebook page and he put out the call: we need positive energy; please come. I quickly canceled my evening plans and soon accompanied Kathleen out to visit Carolyn while Keith took over the booth. Upon arrival, the family was shaken but stalwart by her side and we took our first breathtaking first steps in to see her....a disconcerting sight of our dear friend obscured among those awful tubes and wires.

Let me tell you a bit about this fine lady. Carolyn is by all rights a force of nature. She is an incredibly strong woman with a brilliant sense of humor and undeniable joie de vivre. Her lust for life is inescapable and a joy to be around. She was most recently Mayor of ES and she is passionate about the town and ensuring a strong future for it. How humbling it is to see her fighting for her life on a night when Waterfest saw a record crowd. She would be so excited.

I've been blessed to get to know Carolyn in a short amount of time. She has been good friends with Keith for some time now and after I attended her and Jim's Mardi Gras party, we became fast friends with they and Kiko. We were invited to join in with their First Friday dinner groups. In the pic at the top left is Carolyn at the far left at our dinner at the Farmhouse. You may have read my recent posts on some of our recent adventures: a Royals game and our night of Moroccan food and drag queens. I've become very attached to Carolyn in a short amount of time....I was already a fan of hers due to the fact that she always had Keith's back....but since becoming friends with her; I've become crazy about her.

We need her to wake up.

Sitting at her bedside with Kathleen and later on tonight with Keith was a powerful experience. We were told that we needed to bring positive energy to Carolyn's bedside to help stimulate her brain. Now, I have spent an inordinate amount of time at hospital bedsides; particularly in the last year. I have never, however, sucked up my own emotions and stayed on the course of putting out nothing but positive energy. We stroked her hand, told funny stories, laughed and continuously coaxed her to wake up. We watched the number on the monitor that measured brain activity as if it were a sports score; literally willing her to raise that number. We hooted and hollered when the score jumped to a 98; so much so that the nurse scolded us. The number would plummet and we would try to "coach" her number back up. We used everything in our arsenal including political jibes. Sometimes, the laughs were unintentional....while telling Carolyn about the day, I kept bumping into her bed controls and moving her every which way but loose. I finally kept my distance so as not to launch her across the room.

All kidding aside, we need your help. If you are a regular or casual reader, or just stopping by, I'm asking you for prayer or any bit of positive thoughts, karma or juju you could share and send it our way. These next few hours and days are critical. If anyone can beat this; it is Carolyn because of her innate stength and because we will raise the roof and rally the troops to see her through this. Already, the shifts have fallen into place....folks were leaving as we showed up tonight and Gary and Kim were arriving as we were leaving. And so it will continue. We will return in the morning.

Again, the family needs our help and we need yours. Please send Carolyn whatever positive energy you can share. Thank you.


Lydia said...

Oh Greg, I am so sorry to hear about your and Keith's dear friend. I will certainly be thinking of you and including her in prayer. You have a beautiful voice, sing to her.

Anonymous said... very sad! I will most certainly send all the positive energy I can muster. Take care and please keep us updated.


iambingle said...

great blog... of course we're in!

Lisa Mandina said...

Positive energy being sent.

Anonymous said...

My prayers and good wishes are with you and your friend.

Anonymous said...

I've sent out prayers and got other believers praying as well. Please keep us updated. Love you guys.

Charlotte's Web of Books said...

My prayers are going out to Carolyn and all who love her.

Anonymous said...

Greg, sending prayers of healing for Carolyn and strength for family and friends.

Anonymous said...

Oops... the last post was from me, Christina, I just hit send before I typed my name. I hope all is going well with you. Miss you!

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