I'd Have Hidden the Body For Her
Jo made numerous trips to the hospital by ambulance in those last years, and the stays became more extended. I'd spend hours chatting with her, doing her nails, washing her hair or rubbing her feet. We talked about our lives, about the what ifs and if onlys that we all face. She was proud of me and encouraged me to keep going with music, even when the label dropped me and I felt like a failure.
"It's too late now for me, but it's not too late for you" is a line from one of my songs that I got from Jo when she was in the hospital. We were celebrating her 84th birthday at St. Vincent's. Her best friend, the late Renee Bennett, brought in a bottle of champagne (her favorite beverage) and chilled it, using the hospital room sink as an ice bucket.
Two days before she died, unable to eat or speak and just barely hanging on, I saw in her eyes that she didn't want to leave this world. I'd never been with anyone who was dying, and tried to make her comfortable. She was in a lot of pain and fought until the bitter end.
Whenever I’m having a rough day and thinking about throwing in the towel, I quietly recite Jo’s edifying words:
It's too late now for me, but it's not too late for you.
She keeps me going.
Originally published at Purple Clover