Remembering Roxanne

Purple flower
Purple flower (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Emotional numbness is draining. I’ve spent two days in thought. Now I want to write. I want to be witty and charming, tell stories that leave you breathless from laughter, but I’m struggling to find the words. I wish I could turn back the clock and make more visits to San Antonio, return one more long-distance call or send another email. I want to memorize every curve of her face sitting across from me in the late afternoon sun, sipping freshly squeezed margaritas while we eat her favorite pork tacos on the patio of Soluna.

My friend Roxanne died on Sunday.

Pancreatic cancer.

I had no idea that the last time I would feel the warmth of her smile or the comfort of her embrace would be in October of 2011, my 20th high school reunion weekend.

More than fifteen years ago our paths crossed at a Mary Kay meeting. Roxanne was a director. I was a new consultant. Although she wasn’t my director, our groups met in the same building each week. It was a beautiful building in a small high rent shopping center. We called it our Mary Kay Training Center. There were several directors sharing the space, leading leadership meetings, as well as cross-training and teaching for one another. Roxanne’s joy and energy were infectious. She could lift your spirits, soothe your fears and breathe optimism into your soul with one smile. And when she wrapped her arms around you, she embraced all of you with genuine compassion and acceptance, blocking out all of the negative energy you might have been hanging on to that day.

As I moved up the Mary Kay ladder, earning my car and becoming a Fabulous Fifties Sales Director, I became part of the leadership team at the training center.  This meant I spent more and more time with Roxanne. Over the four years we worked together, I made many changes in my life, reevaluated priorities and goals. While at times, it would have been easy to wallow in doubt and self-pity, Roxanne kept me accountable. She never allowed me to whine or complain. In fact, she reminded me that although we can’t control other people’s actions or many of life’s situations, we can control how we respond to them. We can control who we want to be and where we want to go.  My circle of friends dwindled during that season; only a true few remained. And of course, many had varying opinions of how to “fix” life’s disappointments.

However, some of the best advice I received came from Roxanne.

She said, “You can either be the victim of your life, or the victor. You decide.”

When it was time to re-qualify for my Mary Kay car, I decided to go back to college full-time. I found myself a single mom and unsure of my future plans. And although Roxanne was an unexpected gem, and a picture of success of sustaining a full life in direct sales, I was not mentally prepared to take that leap of faith.

Sometimes circumstances and situations are what bind us together, but sometimes it is purely the heart connection we have with one another. When I was no longer in Mary Kay, many of the women I had previously spent time with moved on. We each went our separate ways, focusing on the road we had to travel. Thankfully, I discovered that my relationship with Roxanne was not bound by Mary Kay, but by the friendship we had built. Moving to Michigan twelve years ago made it harder to stay in touch, but the phones calls, emails and occasional visits when I came to San Antonio were enough to sustain us. And each time we talked, it was as if no time had passed.

When I found out she had died, I felt numb. I knew it was coming. Rationally I knew she was no longer in pain and her family and close friends could begin to grieve the loss of such an amazing woman. Desperately I dug through boxes of memorabilia  looking for even one picture of us together, but I came up empty-handed. More than fifteen years of our lives had over-lapped, and yet I could find nothing tangible linking us together.

That made me angry.

I was angry she was gone. Angry I hadn’t kept in better contact and angry I didn’t make sure I saw her last Christmas when I was there for the holidays. Most of all, I was angry I live too far away to go to her memorial service.  I spent Sunday and yesterday reading all of the thoughtful posts friends and family had written on her Facebook page.

Then I watched a You Tube video of Cups by Kurt Hugo Schneider and the anger and numbness turned to tears. My heart finally broke down and crumbled in the memory of my sweet friend, and as I listened to this song, I remembered all the weekly late night dinners we had shared, afternoon cocktails, and fitness advice. I remembered learning by Roxanne’s example how to balance faith, family, friends and work. I pictured us laughing until we cried, comparing hair colors and fashion trends. I remembered her incredible sense of humor. I remembered how she would never get caught up in gossip or pettiness but always found something good to say about people. I remembered that I could always trust her and I could always count on her to be honest. But most of all, I remembered how much you couldn’t help but love the world a little more, have just a little more faith in people, and see more joy in everyday moments when you were around Roxanne.

I’ve written over 1000 words here, and yet I feel like I have said nothing. I realize now there could never be a picture to capture the years of feelings surrounding Roxanne’s friendship. I guess the only impression that really matters is the one she left on my heart.

I will miss you, Roxanne.

“When I’m gone
When I’m gone
You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone
You’re gonna miss me by my walk
You’re gonna miss me by my talk, oh
You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone”

Time Can’t Heal All Wounds

This post was inspired by Red Writing Hood. Red Writing Hood is a writing meme. It can be fiction or non-fiction and the word limit is 600. This writing prompt is sponsored by The Red Dress Club. This week’s prompt asked to have you or your character find a forgotten letter or card from someone important in your life – whether good or bad. What does it say? How does it affect you or your character? What is done with it? I had a terrible time trying to fit it into the word limit, so I apologize now.

Trey was one of my best friends.

For seven years we battled puberty, hormones and peer pressure together. We talked late into the night when my parents were sleeping. I would call Time and Temperature at our designated time and he would call me, the anticipated beep of call waiting stirring up butterflies in my stomach. Our relationship was complicated, full of uncertainty and teenaged drama.

He loved me with his entire soul, pledged it often in voice and in word, never waning.

I loved that he loved me.

We met at a Middle School Cotillion, a Southern tradition. I got to wear my first fancy dress and feel like a princess. He wore a suit and tie. I knew the moment we met that we would be connected for a life time. He quoted poetry and philosophers. Pulled me close to dance, cheek to cheek, even when everyone else was standing on opposite sides of the room. It was like he had already walked this earth decades before, searching for something.

Someone.

He found me.

Friendship came naturally, but loving him was exhausting. Intense. He wanted so much more than I knew how to give.One night in his garage we kissed, snuggled on an old sofa and listened to the night. It was my junior year of high school, his senior, and he was overwhelmed with grief about leaving me when he went away to college. I tried to assure him that it would be no different than all the summers he lived with his father in Tatum, TX. We would write each other like crazy, everyday, and call on the weekends. Besides, San Marcus was less than an hour away. He could come visit me when ever he wanted. I would be graduating in a year and maybe, just maybe, I would consider going to college there too.

That week I received a letter from him:

“I love you! Well, that’s the best way to kick off this letter, seeing as it is the topic that I wish to examine in these last few hours of the day. To hold you right now would be a fulfillment of a dream, which by the way, is only a fraction of what I long for…last night, I will never forget. Your kiss, one of the most indescribable, the most beautiful feelings I have ever felt. It actually took me places. I can remember the feeling of the wind at the beach…I can remember sunlight in Autumn, when the leaves changed color and blanketed the wilted grass, almost trying to hide the coming of winter. And I can remember your face when that kiss broke and how much love you radiated.”

We never officially dated.

Our unrequited romance continued another year.  I was young and fickle. He was lovesick and melancholy, begged me to move to San Marcus. I was overwhelmed with doubt, torn between wanting to be with him but wanting to see what life could be like on my own. And fear. I was afraid to leave home, if even just a short drive away.

So I stayed.

Our conversations became less frequent, and when they did happen, they were full of anger and frustration.

“Why won’t you come visit me?” Trey would ask.

“Maybe next time.”

I absorbed college social life, made new friends and didn’t want to miss a thing.  He would have to wait. There would be time later.

“If you love me today, won’t you love me tomorrow?” I once asked him, frustrated that he could be so sure I was the one, and yet, I had no clue what I wanted.

“I will love you forever, ” he replied.

Spring of 1992 I went to Galveston with some friends and a boy I had been seeing. It was your typical rowdy college trip. This boy’s mom came with us, hosted the party, made sure “we drank responsibly”. On the last night I was there, I breathed the sticky summer sky and thought of Trey. The sound of crickets reminded me of our kiss in his garage. Our most recent correspondence devoured my thoughts.

“I got your letter today and immediately sat down to write a few lines of love. But I am confused as to what you want from me. A friendship? You have that for life. I’m honestly hoping that it is something more. In my heart, I know someday it will happen; I just despise the wait. I want you now, with everything I am and was 6 years ago. I think something so great should not be further postponed; I think you should give in to what you’ve always known is right – us.”

My heart ached for him for the first time. I was finally tired of wondering, ready to find out.

My dad was waiting up for me when I got home. He said Trey had called twice. They talked on both occasions, my dad sensed a heightened emotional state, and suggested he call his mom and go home. He assured him I would be home soon.

Before I could call him back, the phone rang. It was one of my girlfriends from the Galveston trip.

“Em, ” she whispered, “something happened while we were gone.”

Trey was 18 when he took his own life.

Guest Post: Brook

“DW – do you know what today is?”

“Sure – it’s St. Patrick’s Day, the anniversary of our first big fight,” DW smirked.

You jerk! Yes it’s St. Patrick’s Day, the anniversary of our engagement!”

Not only is it a day of green beer and corn beef with cabbage, but it is today’s guest blogger’s birthday. One of the things I like about Brook is her transparency. Her posts are raw, honest, and insightful. She is also a wealth of information about ADD, and eager to offer support and encouragement. Brook has a unique outlook on life, and in spite of life’s unexpected mountains, she finds ways to come out stronger on the other side. She has a heart for her community and for making a positive impact on the world.

You may need some tissues while reading her post today.

Be sure to check out Brook’s blog to be dancing…a novelty yarn and wish her a very Happy Birthday.

A Little Bit About Brook

Hi, I’m Brook. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I’m turning 35 today. I hope that means I’m a little wiser, a little more focused, a little taller. Well, maybe not taller. But the other two would be nice. I’ve been married to my “former” Marine husband for 11 years and we have an eight year old son. We live 15 minutes from a small town on 5 acres with 5 horses and a dog. I have returned to school (an hour away) to pursue my degree. If all goes according to plan, at the end of next school year I’ll have my Bachelor’s of Fine Arts. I read somewhere recently that this is the Year of the Rabbit which is normally marked by calm compared to the tumult of last year, the Year of the Tiger. I certainly hope that holds true, because I’d be hard pressed to take much more of the tumult that finished off 2010 for us. Between September and the New Year, my mom died, my husband almost died (over Thanksgiving which happened to be the week before finals), he then had a surgery, and we had the flu and weird rashes during the week he was gone for it (the week before Christmas). But, don’t worry, I’m feeling much better now. So far the Year of the Rabbit has lived up to it’s name and I am SO thankful for the breather.

My Worst Pajama Day Ever

If ever there was a day to put my pajamas back on and pull the covers over my head, it would have been September 21, 2010. It was a Tuesday. I was at school.It was the first week of the term and attendance is mandatory in order to keep your place in your classes. The exception to that is extenuating circumstances like a death in the family. It was the day my mom died.

My husband called me. He said to come home right now. He didn’t want to tell me on the phone and he wanted to make sure I could make the hour drive home. But the not knowing was (almost) worse than just being told. I didn’t know if something was seriously wrong with our son or what else it could be. He ended up telling me so I could stop imagining what it could be and just be sure.

At first, I was in a bit of denial. I kept thinking it was just some awful prank someone was trying to pull on us. After all, it was only my husband who had told me about it. Surely, somehow he had gotten erroneous information? Of course, that was not the case. As we pieced together from the various medical and law enforcement personnel involved what had happened, it became obvious that this was not a cruel prank. It was the truth and I had to come to terms with it.

When I arrived home, I only had a few minutes before our son would arrive home on the bus. He was already on the way home so I wasn’t able to pick him up from school. It was good to have a couple minutes to myself before he got there, though. My husband had gone over to our neighbor’s to see if they could help babysit over the next couple of days while we did the official chores that go along with not only a death, but a suicide that took place in a mental facility, no less. There was a lot of confusion as to how she had gotten there and what had happened.

I sat on the end of my bed gasping for breath. I screamed and sobbed for those few minutes and then I prepared to do the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. I waited for them to come home from the bus stop. Because, make no mistake, as hard as it was for me to hear that my mom was gone, it was infinitely harder to have to tell my baby, my child, my heart, that his grandma was gone.

We sat down on the couch with him and told him as best we could that she had died. He started crying. It was a kind of screaming, almost howling cry that tore my heart to pieces. He jumped up and ran into our bedroom to weep uncontrollably on our bed. We followed him in there and lay down with him, holding and rubbing and patting him. Offering what little comfort there is to be had. Knowing all the while that there really isn’t anything we can do. They were best pals and she was gone.

After a few minutes, he asked how she had died. We didn’t feel like he needed to know the specifics of how she had died. We also didn’t want to tell him she had died in the hospital for fear of causing him undo worry when Daddy goes into the hospital, as he does fairly regularly. But we had to tell him something.

We told him that she was tired and sick and sad. That her body got so filled up with being tired and sick and sad that it couldn’t take it anymore. We saved the details for later when he is bigger and ready to hear it. It isn’t a secret, but he’s a little guy and doesn’t need to carry that yet.

Eventually, he cried himself to sleep and my husband and I were able to gather up the tattered remains of our hearts and start the work of stitching our world back together. My heart broke twice that day. I would take the pain of it from him if I could. But, as we all know, that is not possible. All we could do was hold on and love him and each other through it.

That is the story of my worst pajama day ever.

Learn more about Brook at her blog to be dancing…a novelty yarn

Life Goes On

It is one week today that we said goodbye to our 13 1/2 year- old Golden Retriever, Chelsea.

For the first few days without her, I made it a point to leave the house when the kids left for school, and not return until they got home. I just couldn’t bare to be in the house alone. There wasn’t much motivation to write without my writing companion either. The spot next to my chair was empty. There was no one to read aloud my rough drafts for approval. But, by the end of the week ,we all cried less – each day has been better than the one before.

There were several moments this weekend that struck me as ironic reminders that life really does go on, whether we want it to or not. Saturday, our family spent several hours participating in Relay for Life. The Tortoise and I walked the first six miles together, talking and laughing at silly stories we each shared. It was a wonderful bonding time and yet, I couldn’t help but be reminded the whole day of cancer and of Chelsea. I was reminded of the people in our life touched with cancer. Some are in remission, some we have lost. Afterall, it is a walk raising money in the hopes of finding cures for cancer. The Tortoise must have made the connection too, because she asked me if I thought Chelsea knew she was going to die. I think she did. On Monday morning, after laying still for over 24 hours she managed to move herself to the hub of our home – the kitchen – in order to be in the center of our family. We cried a little but then amazingly, The Tortoise said:

“I think it would be okay to get another dog. I don’t think it would mean we loved Chelsea any less. It just means we have a lot more love to give.”

Later Saturday afternoon, The Tortoise mentioned that she didn’t feel 100%. It’s sometimes hard to tell how she is really feeling, because she constantly has a nervous stomach. This had been an emotional week anyway, but we also had our big 5k run on Sunday and she has a solo in her school concert tonight. The nerves are high. We all went to bed at a reasonable hour Saturday night, preparing for the big 5k event, but at 1 a.m. I was startled by the sound of “MOM!” coming from the girls’ bathroom. It’s amazing how awake you become when one of your children are crying out. The Tortoise had thrown-up all over herself, the tiles and her bath rug. The smell and the content were overwhelming. After I helped get her cleaned-up and out of the way, DW came in to help. We both struggled (me more than him, I must admit this was enough to put me into dry-heaving convulsions) but I couldn’t help but think about how strange it was that just the Saturday before I was cleaning up after my now deceased “child”, Chelsea. Just a week before I was surrounded by another stench, cleaning a part of my life that I didn’t realize was soon to be gone. Cleaning up after The Tortoise was one of the few times I can think of that I was at peace disposing of such a mess. I was almost thankful that I had this mess to clean. It meant that my child needed me. She was present.

Getting ready for the 5k to start.
Sunday morning was beautiful. The sun stretched out her arms widely, surrounding all the earth in a warm embrace. Our 5k site was already buzzing in pink bliss as early as 8:15 a.m., waiting for the arrival of almost 1000 runners. As they started showing up, smiles seared my heart, burning images of all the hard work and commitment the teams had endured during the weeks leading up to this big day. I was excited to see our efforts come to fruition, even on this extremely hot morning. We gathered together, rows and rows of girls, their parents and coaches dressed in this year’s sea of soft blush. And then we were off.

The Hare is struggling to see, the sun was so bright!
At first I ran with a couple of my struggling runners, but the excitement of their peers running charged them with energy, sending them forward without effort. I found myself running alone. This was my fourth 5k. In runs past, I did my best to run for long periods of time, but there was always an occasional intense walk to catch my breath. Today was different. My body was filled with emotion, fueling my legs, pumping my arms. I ran through mile one swiftly. At the water station I drank while on route and then ran on to mile two. The trail was very familiar and I knew that passing the big softball field was my cue that there was only about a mile left. I ran. A small cramp began forming on my side but I took slower, deeper breaths. My mind drifted to the week’s events and suddenly I forgot what I was doing. I started forgetting how much life seemed to stop. The cramp disappeared. I kept running. Sweat dripped down my face, reminding me of past tears shed, tears that were now replaced with a smile. The finish line was near – I could hear the crowd cheering and voices calling to me:

“Good Job Coach Emily! You’re almost there!”

I was almost there.

I was almost there.

Me and one of my students.
An arch of colored balloons beckoned me to the end. I sprinted. And as I passed through the finish line, welcomed by hundreds of faces – some I recognized and some I didn’t know – I felt relief.

I knew I was indeed, almost there.

Goodnight Sweet Chelsea Girl

I’d like to do Saturday over. I’d like to not fret about a $40 remnant rug ruined by a frantic dog. I’d like to quit bitching for the two hours it took me to mop dried dog poop off the hard-wood floors. Instead, I’d like to sit with her a little longer, kiss her face and say again and again how much I love her, remind her that she is such a sweet girl.

Chelsea was up and around most of Saturday, stayed pretty much out of my way while I cleaned up her mess, but DW and I noticed that she wouldn’t take any food or water.

“Her stomach must really be bugging her, ” we both thought.

By early Saturday evening, Chelsea layed down in our mud room and there she stayed. Each of us took turns sitting with her, petting her head, kissing her nose. There was no whimpering or noises indicating she was in pain, but when DW would try to get her to stand, her back legs would tremble and she would sink to the ground.

“It has to be her back flaring up again, ” DW insisted Sunday morning, “If only we could get her to eat, I could increase her Prednisone and she would feel so much better.” (See Dog Days for more information.)

We got her to eat some scrambled eggs Sunday, but still no water. Chelsea hadn’t gone to the bathroom since the explosion Saturday. She hadn’t moved all day. A few times in the afternoon DW carried her outside to enjoy some fresh air and watch the kids playing in the neighborhood. I was entertaining some girlfriends on Monday afternoon for lunch, so food preparations needed to get started by Sunday evening. The smell of fresh boiled chicken floated throughout the kitchen. I was making my mom’s amazing vinaigrette chicken salad and peachy orange mousse. As I started shredding chicken, I just kept an eye on my sweet girl. Her white-haired muzzle stood out starkly against a dark brown throw rug.

“How about some chicken, ” I asked carrying over a small dish of freshly cooked meat. Her eyes just looked up at me, pleading. Not one bite was eaten.

It was almost midnight before I finally called it a day. I locked doors, turned out lights and gave one more kiss.

“Goodnight Sweet Chelsea Girl,” I said. She’ll be better in the morning, I thought.

At home Monday morning.
Monday morning was no different. The girls and I fell into our school routine: lunches, breakfast, backpacks. But DW hadn’t left yet. It is unusual for him to still be at the house past 6:30am. He sat in one of our reading chairs in the family area.

“Maybe we should call the vet,” he mumbled, “Soon.”

There was a sadness in his voice that was unfamiliar and uncomfortable.

“Absolutely. I’m sure they could just give her a steroid injection like we did last time and she’ll be good as new,” I responded.

Chelsea scooted herself into the kitchen Monday morning to be closer to us.
The vet was able to see her at 9am, right after the kids were off to school. At first DW insisted that he didn’t need me to go with him, that I should stay and get ready for my luncheon. He would call me if they weren’t going to give her steroids. I was really angry at first – why shouldn’t I go? I wouldn’t stay home if one of the children were going to the doctor. This was no different. I fumed a bit, assured him that cancelling lunch made the most sense, but he wouldn’t budge.

However, minutes before he was ready to leave he said, “Aren’t you ready to go? I’m leaving now.”

I wanted so much to yell at him, call him crazy – didn’t he just tell me not to come? But instead, I ran upstairs, threw on some clothes and headed out the door.

The vet was very patient. She checked the charts, listened while we droned on and on about Chelsea’s re-occurring back problems and how she just needed a steroid shot. Dr. W started to feel around and confirmed that there was tenderness on her spine, but then she asked, “How long has her belly been this swollen?”

DW and I just looked at each other. Swollen? She hadn’t been up for almost two days, we hadn’t noticed anything. Dr. W decided to run a full blood panel and some preliminary ultra sounds before providing steroid injections. DW and I sat in the examining room. We didn’t say too much, he played games on his phone while I texted my friends to cancel lunch. By now it was 11am – we had been at the vet for two hours already. Dr. W came back quietly, sat down and opened her chart.

“We think there is a mass on her spleen, ” she started, “and her red-blood count is only at 17%. We also tapped her belly and found blood. I don’t think her back is the problem.”

She talked about surgery options, non-surgery options and possible causes but over all she wasn’t very firm on the diagnosis.

DW took my shaking hand. Tears started streaming down my flushed cheeks.

“Well, who do we see now then?” I asked.

Dr. W told us we could take her to a veterinary emergency hospital about 30 minutes away and get a more extensive ultra-sound taken, see what they recommended. If there wasn’t really a mass, or if they thought it was her back, then they could give steroid injections. Otherwise, they were certainly the best place for surgery. Dr. W wasn’t shy in telling us the costs involved with each of these options as well, and again reminded us of our final option.

DW was silent for a few minutes. I think he was waiting for me to decide – waiting for my predictable emotionally driven response because he didn’t want to listen to reason at that moment either.

“Call the hospital and let them know we are coming then.” I said.

The silence in the car was deafening. It was the slowest I had every seen DW drive and by now it was almost one o’clock in the afternoon.

The hospital staff was waiting for us with faxed chart information. Everyone was very somber and kind. Barely thirty minutes went by and the vet already had the ultra-sound tests completed. She was extremely curt and frank.

“There is a very large tumor on her spleen that has ruptured. She has a lot of internal bleeding and…”

This was way too much information. Please, just stop talking, I thought.

“Wait a minute,” I blurted out. “We brought her in today because her back is flaring up. Our vet said there was a possibility that you could just give her steroids and we could go home.”

The doctor’s demeanor softened a little. “It’s not her back, ” she stated. “She is dying as we speak.”

The cancer was aggressive and could not be treated. We were all out of options except to make arrangements with our home vet, get the kids and say our goodbyes. The hospital staff wheeled Chelsea out on a gurney to the car. She still had not said a word. The doctor reminded us that Golden Retrievers are not complainers. It wasn’t surprising that she had done her best to not make us uncomfortable in her discomfort.

By the time we got both the girls from school and arrived at our home clinic, it was 4pm. The Hare was doing her best to be keep her composure. She kept looking to Dad as an example of how she should respond. He was calm, serious, non-emotional. The Tortoise and I on the other hand were in tears. We both wear our emotions on our shirt-sleeve. It was not containable. I am extremely thankful to the veterinarian staff and to our vet for really guiding my children through this process. There was no way I could begin to explain to them how this was going to take place. I barely understood myself.

We all sat in a private family room. There was a couch and a chair, but I chose to sit on the floor with Chelsea. The girls huddled with dad on the couch; all three of them placed a hand on Chelsea’s back. She was surrounded by her family. The first injection sedated her, brought her to a near twilight sleep. I kissed her and whispered loving notions in her ears. She began to sleep and then in just a few minutes the second injection took her from us forever. I heard unfamiliar sobbing and looked up. DW’s face was drowning, his deep blue eyes over flowing with grief. The Hare was also now crying in deep waves.

I don’t know how long we sat there – a while. Each of us petting her and talking to her even though we knew she couldn’t hear us any longer. As soon as we got home, DW rolled up her carpet and put-away her bowls. I wanted him to just sit for a minute, leave it all right where it was because I wasn’t ready to put anything away. But I know that each of us has to grieve in our own way, so I just sat with the girls on the couch. Till this point I had cried in a socially acceptable manner. But I knew I couldn’t contain it much longer and excused myself to “my place” – the shower. It was there that I could finally allow my heart to fully release, uninhibited.

It was a quiet evening. We ate in shifts and curled up in my bed to watch DVR’d episodes of Chopped from the Food Network. But at bedtime, both of the girls wanted their daddy to lay down with them.

I cleaned the kitchen, looked around for something that wasn’t there, locked the doors, turned out lights and whispered one last time,

” Goodnight Sweet Chelsea Girl.”