I had this friend named Donna George. I knew her from work with the socially-active Albany United Methodist Society. I don’t know why, but certain people, including a particular pastor, treated her quite badly, taking advantage of her good will. I think that, at some level, I felt a lot of sympathy for her. Ultimately, she saw our relationship one way, and I another, yet we managed to maintain a friendship in spite of that.
In 2002, she was diagnosed with brain cancer. Knowing she would be incapable of making decisions very soon, she got three or four of her friends to come to St. Peter’s hospice to explain her wishes that we divvy up her music, books and art and give them to various buddies before she died, lest her family, from whom she was mostly estranged, could get their hands on them.
I was one of the folks in charge of the music, giving this person some Sinatra, and that person some classical albums, et al. I held onto a Beach Boys box set, which I had given her, and I also kept the Roberta Flack album Quiet Fire, for it contained a cover of the BeeGees’ To Love Somebody, which represented in song what she wished our relationship would be. Continue reading Me and Donna George