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“You will always be my Favorite Hello and my Hardest Good-Bye”

I see you laying there and hear the machines beeping all around you.  A flood of memories come crashing in as I walk into that hospital room.

All of a sudden, I am a 14 year old girl walking down Lockwood Ave in a jean jacket and levis that were washed a million times to get to the right shade. Crossing the street, coming towards me is the guy with the bluest eyes I have ever seen. Your beautiful long locks of dirty blond hair are blowing in the crisp October wind.

Our eyes meet and we say hello.

It’s 44 years later and our eyes meet again, but this time you are lying in a hospital bed awaiting a heart transplant.

The connection is still deep. We both know it. And so does everyone else in the room.

I would do anything to save you if I could. I would do anything to take this pain away from you. You have been such a fighter these last few years. Had more courage than I ever would or could, and always trying to keep the faith. At the first hospital, months ago I was able to sit on the bed with you and hold you. This new hospital has you hooked up so much I can barely touch you. As I bend over to hug you, you hang on tight as if you are going somewhere. Not yet, I say.

A couple of months later you are doing better. A device that will keep you going till the new heart comes has been inserted. You are able to sit up, talk and even roll your eyes at me when I start cleaning up your hospital room. We both know I would be the best one to take care of you, even discussed it, but decided you will be going home to your family. To your house, where the woman that was estranged for years, not caring about anyone but herself, has now decided to come back for some reason. I’m really hoping for your sake that it is the right reason. Everyone does, but everyone has their doubts.

Some would read this and think this story is such a wonderful love story, but it isn’t. There is no happy ending.

Instead, this is a story about how our lives, over the span of 44 years, took different twists and turns. But somehow this crazy bond we possess manages to keep us weaving in and out.

Just at the right times. And sometimes at the wrong times.

This goodbye feels different when I leave the hospital.


Donna Reboletti

Donna is an administrative assistant at a local school district. Worked many years as a customer service manager and sales rep in the publishing distribution field. Non profit is her passion, but it doesn’t pay the bills, so Donna is an avid volunteer in her community. A mother of two adult children and a Schnoodle named Vinnie all who still reside in the nest. A divorced woman over 50 who has been on at least 50 first dates in the last few years but still has not given up hope. Donna grew up in Chicago and had a great childhood in her neighborhood. She currently lives in the outlying burbs. She swears she has the best Italian/Polish family and has a fabulous support system of childhood friends. Her “Girls Club” keeps her sane and tries to help her not sweat the small stuff. Looking forward to becoming Golden Girls when the time is right. Her life has been a roller coaster of love and loss but she always keeps that ticket handy for the next ride. A big shout out to her 8th grade English teacher Mr. Purton who always said she had it in her. Donna tries to leave a little sparkle wherever she goes.

One Comment

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    Shirley Cerone

    03/13/2018 at 11:16 am

    Donna, what a lovely article! You are a wonderful friend – full of heart and all that’s good. So sorry I haven’t been in touch. Would love to get together with you soon.
    Luv ya!


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