She bought and read the book. For anyone who hasn't, that's a lot of work. It reads as if someone is clubbing you in the face, it's far too long and sort of bland in my opinion. And she encouraged me to keep going. She had met me two days prior, and she already felt the need to tell me not to give up on my writing. She asked what project I had in the works, and as many of you can likely guess, that would've been The Cat & the Crow. At the time I was very unsure of whether I should do much of anything with it, and I was hesitant to discuss it, but she got it out of me. And she loved the idea of it. I am thankful that I have two friends other than this young woman who are excellent support when I am writing, but I was speechless to have someone who came out of nowhere and read the book (and of course it had to be THAT book too right?), and could tell me so quickly that she could see a lot of me in it. That I had potential, and that with every book I wrote I could only stand to get better.
We didn't see her for a week after that, and when she did come online again, she sounded different. When we asked she explained that something had bitten her, but that she wasn't extremely concerned, since she was given antibiotics for it, and it was no worse than the brown recluse bite she had dealt with a few years prior. Honestly, I would just move after that first bite. Spiders *shudder* We had a fun night and by the time she left she was laughing as well, although exhausted. The very last time I spoke to her, she was preparing to go in for surgery, because the bite had caused a MRSR/staph infection, and since it was her chest that was bitten, it needed to be tended to.
My friend Ferran died on January second of 2013. Her lungs failed on her, and she was too weak for a transplant, or I would've given her one of mine. I'm not lying, I asked. I was told that she wouldn't survive the procedure, and no doctors were willing to try. My thoughts are currently on her and her boyfriend John, because when I asked if she had someone, the way she spoke of him made me truly believe that she had found her happily ever after. I've never heard someone speak of their partner with such sincere affection, and in many ways it effected my work, and I hate to say it, even me. I've been happily married for a few years now, but she made me remember just how lucky I am to have him in my life. And I am very sorry that I didn't get my chance to get to know her better before she went, because she was one of the very few that I could tell in an instant, was someone spectacular.
I write gay novels, most people would make fun of me for that. She was working in a pharmaceutical company that made chemo therapy materials and worked with charities to ensure everyone got their treatment when they needed it regardless of ability to pay, and she encouraged me.
I thought I would pass on the thoughts that she and I had on one of our literally six hour discussions. That there's only so much time in your life, and you only get to live it once. So enjoy it, do what you like, and hold your head high when you do it. When you start to do well, others will hate you for it and many times they won't even realize that they do. Because it can be hard to be friends with someone who's happy when you're stressed. Life can kick you in the ass, but most people try to brush it off. The key is, to kick it right back. To never show the people who try to put you down that they're succeeding, and to keep moving in the direction that you want to travel.
I only knew Ferran for a little over 3 months of my life. But she was amazing, and I wanted to share that.
Here's hoping she's singing an off tune operatic version of Metallica somewhere right now.
(I will not use her full name on the blog I use to write novels such as I do, out of respect for the shock that it may bring to her church group. I don't care to bring them any more shocks right now.)
I loved this woman, and trust me, if you had known her, you would've as well.
Ferran R. A.
8/11/91 - 1/2/13