[Some of you may have noticed that I haven't posted in a while. It isn't because I've given up on writing and it certainly isn't because I've given up on Blurt. My best friend, the man I've taken care of for the past eight years passed away on June 24th and the truth is that I've been unable to force myself to write. This is my clumsy attempt to immorialize him.]
Did you ever meet someone and both feel straight away like you've known each other all of your lives? So much so, in fact, that he remarked early on in our friendship that he was convinced that we had been irrevocably bonded in all of our past lives. That's how it was with Lindy and me. He was born Cleve Lindsay (Lindy) Cotner Jr. to a real estate speculator in Ft. Smith, AR on September 15, 1951.
Lindy and I met in 2000, just after I moved to Ft. Smith from Madison, WI where I had been working as a chef in an upscale Italian restaurant. I had applied for a job at the one upscale Italian restaurant here in Ft. Smith and was hired on the spot, the only holdup being that they were in the process of restructuring. I was running low on cash when I learned that Lindy owned several businesses so I approached him for a job, just long enough to hold me over until Tagliano's was done restructuring. He hired me to manage his cemeteries with the understanding that I would stay on permanently. I agreed, the money was good and it was an opportunity to help people through a difficult time in their lives.
Lindy and I were members of AA, the place where we initially met. Along with our friend Steve "Waterboy" (he owned a water filtration company) Edwards we became inseparable. We were all interested in the same things and we naturally became a brotherhood of three. In the early spring 2003 I got remarried and not long afterward Lindy came down with Grave's Disease, a thyroid condition that caused him to lose what little weight he had. All three of us were around 5'7" and Lindy was about 135. His weight dropped to under 100 lbs. and he had difficulty maintaining that. This was the beginning of a decline that lasted almost twenty years until his untimely death in June. I say untimely because he was supposed to let me go first.
In 2009 I was diagnosed with a glioblastoma, a terminal form of brain tumor. The doctors informed me "...to get my affairs in order, we're talking weeks not months." A friend from college advised me to come to Wisconsin, to a place between three mountains that the Indians called "a place of healing." I had also read about bosweilla, a "cure" for cancer. Lindy immediately went out and bought all that was available in Ft. Smith. To make a long story short; by July of 2010 my tumor was gone, I don't know if it was the place, the bosweilla, the prayers, or a combination, but thankfully I had been delivered.
I came back to Ft. Smith in December of 2010 and went back to work for Lindy computerizing the files at the three cemeteries. Then in 2014 I got sick again, this time perforations in my stomach. It took two attempts to cauterize the perforations and I finally stopped vomiting blood -- just in time to have a heart attack. I lost everything of value including my house. I was finished and was ready to end it all. The problem was Bruno, my dog. He and Lindy loved each other so I called to see if Lindy would take Bruno in so I could end things without worrying about my dog. Lindy informed me that if I killed myself he would never forgive me and that I was moving in with him, he wasn't all that well and could use the help around the house.
This was the kind of man he was, always ready and willing to help a friend no matter the circumstances. It turned out to be a blessing for us both. In 2015 or 2016 I began to see stark changes in his behavior, he began falling a lot, slurring his words -- in one year he totaled three cars and his license was suspended twice. I saw that he was taking a drug called Latuda for bi-polar disorder and looked up the side-effects... he had every last one of them. This toxic garbage had turned my best friend into a turnip incapable of driving a car, walking to the kitchen, or even carrying on a lucid conversation. I called his brother who confronted the doctor threatining to kill him if he prescribed anymore Latuda to his brother.
For about two years I had my friend back. It was wonderful, we were able to talk about things that interested us, get together and watch movies, go out to eat -- normal things. Then about a year and a half Lindy's health began to deteriorate, his COPD became profoundly worse and I began seeing the telltale signs of Latuda use again. As his health got worse he was looking for things to make himself feel better, something I can't criticize him for.
For his last two or three months he began having panic attacks and going through bottles of oxygen that were supposed to last for a number of days in a matter of hours... this in addition to a breathing machine. He would call me all hours of night and day to come switch out his O2 bottle -- something I didn't mind. I would sit and talk to him and it seemed to ease his panic attacks.
He called me at around 1 AM on Thurs. June 23 to come change out his oxygen. We talked for awhile and he fell asleep. I went downstairs to check on him Thursday morning and he was sleeping peacefully, as he was in the afternoon. It wasn't unusual for him to stay up 3-4 nights and then sleep for a day. On Friday morning I went to check him again and noticed that he hadn't changed position so I shook him to wake him up and he was stiff and cold, along with unresponsive. I called 911 and he was gone.
Lindy was one of, if not the best person I've ever had the honor of knowing. I miss him every day. Life just doesn't feel the same wothout him around, he's been part of my life for over twenty years. I know he's in a better place -- a place without oxygen bottles, sickness and strife. R.I.P. Cotner, heaven has just become a better place.
True friends are hard to find, and even harder to loose! Some treasures are too special to remain on earth.
May GOD bring you peace in your heart...selah!
Thank you my good friend! Both you and the wife are in my prayers!
Thanks first surgery done, another tomorrow. She has been the air I breathe for 55 years....
I would have liked to have met your BFF, sounds like my kind of people!
I pray you find peace!
I'll throw some extra prayers y'all's way.
Thanks, that's what she needs right now! Three trips to surgery, one worked...two didn't. Likely another one tomorrow, I think I figured out who to make it work this evening!
He was very lucky to have a true friend like yourself. Thanks for being there for him.
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sad to hear that, but I guess he has always a place in your heart, and you got all the lovely memories with him...
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So sorry for your loss! Rest in love Lindy 🕯️🌈❤️
Thank you very much. I know he's in a much better place.
I am so sorry for your loss. It is hard to find such special people in life and it is something for which we should be thankful.
I hope you can slowly feel better
Thank you very much for the kind words. I feel a bit better but I just don't seem to be able to write just yet.
Deep condolences! Losing a friend leaves such a deep hole in Our lives. I can only offer a cyberhug and hope He is happy wherever He has gone!
He's been telling me for the past couple of years that he was ready to go. I know he's happier now... thank you!
My deepest condolences on your loss. Such people are rare to encounter in our lives, and can imagine how devastating it can be as you remember the man he was before his illnesses began robbing him of his abilities.
I remember watching my dad lose his abilities, also in large part due to side effects from the many medications they had him on over the decades.
When he passed (also due to medical neglect) it was a catch 22. He was so unhappy for many years as he recognized what he was losing, saying things like
and much worse.
It was a mix of my sadness of loss, due to the dynamic man he had been before the medications transformed him into a shell of the man he once was. A great man who had a brilliant mind and the ability to learn and do whatever needed doing from mechanical to carpentry to gunsmithing to whatever.
Juxtaposed by the unhappy, often in pain both physical and mental that had imprisoned him for so many decades. Watching him year after year putting on a brave front as he tried to hide both the immense physical pain he was in, as it slowly ate at him. Coupled with the growing loss of his mental acuities and worse, his will as a strong man it left me with a strange feeling of relief for him that his pain and erosion of spirit were finally over.
I'm hopeful that such a sense is there for you in relief to help temper some small bit the loss that from your sharing began many years earlier as it had with my dad.
Thank you for sharing your thankfulness for him, and the way your bonds with him grew over time. This is what true love is, not the lustful so called romantic love that is bandied about so much in public. It's humbling to read of such a real bond between two, and I'm grateful that you had such a relationship in your life. So many don't, or for whatever reason circumstances of life act as a rock breaking the glue of such a tie.
Please take your time in coming to terms with the loss. We all handle such experience differently, and we are here to listen if you need to talk more of this and revive the powerful energy stored in you from your history with him. Or if you need more time away, we will leave the lights on for you upon your return.
Thanks old friend! There is a sense of relief, for the past couple of years Lindy would confide in me that he was ready to go, that life had become a burden not worth the effort. He had made his peace and was ready for whatever it is that comes next. Now there's the question of what comes next for me -- it looks like I may reunite with my exwife who's invited me to move in with her when I leave here. The family wants me to stay for at least six months while all of the legalities are dealt with -- an unglorified security guard.
Beautiful words my friend - thank you for sharing your memories of a true friend.
I'm very sorry for your loss, it's one with which I can certainly relate.
Thank you very much. I just wish I could get back to writing again.
Beautiful post my friend. I'm sorry we didn't meet him when we came to visit. I bet I would have liked him a lot. You know my heart is with you during this difficult time.
Thank you my dear friend. You would have liked him, he was a kindred spirit. He introduced me to David Icke and Alex Jones (back when he was sane).
Not clumsy at all!
I'm so sorry for your loss. What a special bond we create when we care in this way. I wish you many happy memories of this dear friend of yours.
Thank you very much. He was a really special person