L in the Southeast

L in the Southeast
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
November 04
Retired PR Director
I am a retired Public Relations professional who now writes purely for fun and catharsis. I covered most of my memoir-type pieces in the first three years here. Lately I have dabbled in politics, current affairs, pop culture and movie reviews. Life is my muse.


L in the Southeast's Links

OCTOBER 8, 2010 11:45AM

Tomorrow's Never Promised

Rate: 34 Flag

Holly rose early Tuesday morning to a glorious, crisp and sun-drenched vision of an October day in Atlanta.  When she opened the front door of her perfectly appointed Victorian to get her Atlanta Journal Constitution, she stopped to gaze out over the vast array of centuries-old oaks to check for signs of autumnal colors.

 Sipping her Constant Comment tea, Holly thought about all the phone calls she would make during the day.  Looming mid-term elections had her docket filled with final-stretch minutiae.  Her political consultancy, which allowed her to pay her bills, was never more demanding than during an October in an election year.

Disgusted by the lack of new information in the scant pages of her city's once-dominant southeastern rag, Holly tossed the newspaper aside and headed for the shower.

Tomorrow I must start planning for Thanksgiving, she thought as she shampooed her silver bob.  I'll have to get through Halloween first, though:  decorations for the front porch, candy, a pumpkin to carve.  Sigh.  I should have gotten up earlier.  Don't forget you have to meet Jane and Susan for dinner at Parish tonight.

Holly did meet her neighbor/friends that evening.  When they had finished their leisurely meal they were walking toward the exit of the restaurant when Holly suddenly collapsed onto the floor.  She was rushed by ambulance to the hospital less than two miles away.  She had suffered a massive stroke. 

Last night, after her son and ex-husband and other relatives arrived from other cities, Holly was removed from life support.  Her neighbors had held a candlelight vigil the night before outside her forlorn, seemingly saddened blue house with mauve and grape trim.  The preparations were complete and Holly was allowed to finish what she started on Tuesday.  She never regained consciousness.

Holly was my neighbor.  I've known her on a business basis since the late 1990s, when I was the AT&T Community Relations Director in the Southeast and she was calling me in her capacity of fund raiser for one of the Atlanta mayoral candidates.  We were not friends, but we smiled and waved at each other almost every day.  She was my age -- 65.

I made up some of the details of the past two days.  It was easy enough to do.  Every single day that any one of us wakes up and goes about the usual daily routine could end the way Holly's did.  I heard the wakeup call.

Rest in Peace1



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A sad reminder that any day could be our last. Live today accordingly.

Sobering, Lezlie. May Holly rest in peace.
I say this every day and no one listens Lezlie.
Thank you for writing this and yes, may she rest in peace.:(
rated with hugs
Yes, it is a sad lesson I learned many years ago...we have no promise of a tomorrow. This is the reason I never miss a chance to tell my children I love them and to kiss my wife and make sure she knows she is the best thing that ever happened to me.
True and true. Your reminder is eloquent. Thank you for sharing it.
I hate to sound businesslike here. Holly's story is sad, of course, but I hope it makes people think about getting their affairs in order...guardians for minor children, funeral arrangements, burial plots, etc. My 47 year-old cousin Pam doesn't play. She started paying for her burial plot in her 20's. Having buried several people after a sudden death, I can tell you it would have been nice to have at least some plans made in advance. Geez, how did I get so far down this road? May Holly rest in peace.
Oh, and nicely done Lezlie. The way you combined known facts with a splash of fiction to create an engaging narrative.
This life is precious. You're a good spirit. Rest in peace, Holly.
May your friend rest in peace. You've given her a beautiful memorial by your gentle words, as well as a wake up call to us who are lucky to wake up to a new day. ~R
Scary when it's unexpected like that, particularly when she's your age. You're right.
Wow. One never knows....how nice of you to post a remembrance for her.
That is one of my favorite sayings that no one is promised tomorrow. Lovely tribute and fitting reminder L.
Your tags say it all. Lovely tribute to Holly.
Life is precious, use it wisely. Thank you for reminding us, Lezlie.
Lezlie, my deepest condolences to your neighbor's family, and to you for the loss of a friend. And thank you for sharing such a touching eulogy.
Sad to hear of your neighbor Holly...A 21 yr old waitress friend, named Holli, just friended me yesterday on facebook..the circle of life, is what is brought to my mind..one Holly gone..one Holli just got engaged, 3rd yr in college(chemical engineering major), as I was looking at her engagement pictures, I was thinking how swift life is..enjoy while you can. (She is soo sweet and wants to do lunch..bless her heart.)
Sweet remembrance, Lezlie, and sad, but true.
Life is way too short, and this day may be someone's last one! R
Living as I do, I have to appreciate everyday even while I don't look forward to it. Some days are hell!
:( Stupid last days!!!

Excellent piece. Thank you for the reminder!
Every sudden change has a powerful message. Sadly, the ones that accompany death are never easy for those left in it's wake. Rest in Peace, Holly.
I try hard to live life like this. Always tell your kids you love them, never leave mad...it's hard, you just don't know. Rest in Peace Holly
Grand post. Every second is our last. Were that there were more of us that knew that. I will say a prayer for Holly.
I'm so sorry. It's scary when it happens so close. Yes, count your blessings. Tell those you love that you love them. Don't hold back. It may be your last chance.
Wise words, Lezlie.
Thank you for posting this.
Condolences to Holly's friends and family, and thanks for the sobering reminder of how precious each day is.
Thank you for writing of Holly's last day and death in a way we can all relate to. I just found out today that an old friend of mine died last year. Her mom replied to a letter I sent last month.
poignant narrative and testament to an interesting woman who went too soon...
This is a lovely way to say good-bye and a fitting reminder of cherishing days like the one I had yesterday!
So sad, Lezlie. I'm sorry for your loss. Two years ago we suffered a similar, very unexpected loss. Our beloved friend Denise was only 49. She was on a business trip and collapsed at a work luncheon. She was in the best shape of her life. I think those sudden, unexpected losses are the hardest for everyone.
beautiful. Yes, we never know. There is both beauty and terror in that.
its true.....death comes when he's ready, whether we are or not.
Just experienced a death of a friend too. Dedicated my latest post to her, before I read your's. Definitely, life is temporary.
Few of us live each day as if it's our last (me included). Thank you for the reminder.