In Memory of Debbie Harlan (Hughes)
It came as a shock to me when I received the news that Debbie passed away. The first thing that popped up on my heart is "shame, i didn't visit her this year." Last time I saw her was in 2004/2005. I remembered I waited for her for 2 hours at the mall. She came in and said I'm sorry, I got lost then I couldn't find the parking, then I forgot where our meeting place was.
Strange for her to experience that even tho she frequently went to the same mall. But I thought maybe she was just out of touch with reality. I told her, I didn't mind waiting.
We had heart to heart conversation of what happened to her in one of the situations that I don't want to mention on this blog. We walked around the mall twice.
Debbie was struggling to understand why she neglected household duties, why she became lazy most often and most of all, why she couldn't remember what she did last sometimes.
I thought she was going through some kind of breakdown or was being nervous wreck because of the situation she was in.
I'm sitting down in front of the laptop, shaking my head. Her symptoms were obviously shown in front of me and I didn't even realize them. I didn't know what they were, anyways. I think no one else had until she was diagnosed with a rare disease.
Then flashback: We used to work in the same office at National Center on Deafness. I always loved her positive energy, her sunshine smile, her motivation to share what's going on with her life. The only things that bothered her the most was her short term memory and her mirgaine headaches. She always complained of headaches and constantly asking me how to improve her short span attention or build up better memory to remember some things.
I tried my best to give her advices I found on the internet or from people who have experienced it. I don't have excellent short term memory and I shared this experience with her.
One of my dearest friend, Kim, told me about her condition last year. I wanted to visit her. I sent an email to her husband only to find out his old pager address was no good. Planned to follow up on this and want to pay her a visit. I never did.
"shame, i didn't visit her this year"; my heart's right. I cannot always blame it on me because it's too late but I know I can always cherish memories I have with her and remember her as one of wonderful friends I could've asked for more.
I love you, Debbie Hughes.