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Bad things can lead to good things

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POSTED September 23, 2009 1:21 a.m.

My friend Jerry could be a character out of a Stephen King book.

He made money working in technology while dabbling in Bay Area real estate and the stock market years ago.

His house in Fremont was nearly paid; his twins – a boy and girl – had just graduated high school and were off to college, leaving Jerry (his actual name was changed for the sake of this column) and his wife of 20 years as empty nesters.

But Jerry also had an assortment of health issues, including severe arthritis that occasionally caused him plenty of pain and suffering. At least that’s what I’m speculating.

He had stomach problems that had required surgery and other lingering problems, placing him in and out of a physician’s care.

Needless to say, Jerry was often on pharmaceuticals. He told me that his health woes put a strain on his marriage.

About three years ago, Jerry’s wife finally asked for a divorce. Fortunately, he still owned a condo in nearby Newark. But Jerry also wanted to be closer to his family in Stockton, purchasing a spacious four-bedroom home in northwest Manteca.

Since he was on disability, Jerry made sure his new place was close enough to the Altamont Commuter Express train station, giving him another option in the event he was unable to drive to his doctor’s appointment. He maintained the same Bay Area health care provider.

His series of misfortunate events continued.

Jerry, on his move back to the valley, suffered a broken leg. He was trying to move a solid oak cabinet from the upstairs of his condo when his nephew let the piece of furniture slip from his grasp while on the stairwell.

It took months for his leg to heal followed by a period of rehab.

But worse was yet to come.

During a colonoscopy about a year ago, Jerry’s doctor diagnosed a cancerous area. It was further confirmed during a second and even third opinion.

He opted for the surgery followed once again by the long healing process.

But with a little rain come some sunshine – so they say. During this time, Jerry met up with an old classmate, Eileen. She helped him in recent months by just her presence.

They’ve been dating ever since.

Jerry still has to take his medicine. He has erratic sleeping habits during the day, causing him to be wide awake at 2 o’clock in the morning.

It was during this, he swears, that he witnessed a paranormal activity in his Manteca home.

Jerry described it as a shadow coming from within the walls of his front room. But this so-called ghost would only come out at 2 a.m.

It’s not that I’m a non believer. But I’m aware of his daily dose of prescriptions.

Ghost or not, Jerry has been through worse. From all indication, he seems to be taking his paranormal experience in stride.

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