I learned, over this past weekend, that my friend Felicity Lingle died this past January 9th. Felicity also had Neurofibromatosis Type 2.
She was much younger than me. I don’t remember exactly but I believe she hadn’t even hit 50 yet (a kid!). She was an activist for disability rights as well as politics in general. She also wrote for this blog, telling her story of being homeless AND deaf at the very same time.
I fell out of touch with Felicity late last summer. Why? I was about to have my second surgery of the year (spine) and was feeling pretty overwhelmed. Felicity was in MGH due to complications from her most recent op and was ALSO facing the possibility of losing sight in her right eye (she was already blind on the left). So yeah, she was feeling pretty bulldozed as well.
Already delicately thin, Felicity had stopped eating. I had the sense that she’d given up her battle with the Nf2 monster. I wanted to cheerlead, get her back in the game but I was fighting my own battles.
Felicity chose to go into hospice care at Marina Bay here in Quincy. Part of why I chose that, theoretically five star, rehab joint after finishing at Spaulding was that I figured we could have wheelchair races in the hallways. Ya know, annoy the hell out of the nurses and aids.
I was so focused on my own struggles that I spaced, remembering to check on her only this past week. Too late.
Did Felicity, like my cousin Carmel, just give up, say to the Nf2 beast “OK, you win.” Did she just lay down and wait for death? I understand. Boyhowdy, I get it! Right now, this recovery, is the hardest, the most challenging one EVAH. I’ll make it through though. Why? Because “FUCK YOU NF2!” That’s why. I’ll die when I’M ready, not when some asshole disease says it’s time.