Two days short of 4 months since Sally mercifully passed away. I say mercifully because
I know that was the only way for her to maintain some manner of dignity. Seven months bedridden, three
of them in a drug induced coma, just to keep her stable. Not until the end when I saw the life drain from her and
the inevitable death rattle 30 minutes after they started tapering her life supportive drugs, did I realize she
was supported by such a fragile combination of plastic tubes, pumps and medicine.
There are only 6 of us left now; an equal number of people and animals. No one knew each
one of us better than Sally. She is somewhere watching over us. How can someone that was such a loving Mother
be pulled away from what she loved most without some connection, no matter how indiscernible, to those left behind?
In retrospect I must believe this because Sally obtained that which was most desired by her when we met 20 years
ago; a family of which she was the heart and center. She wanted more but it just wasn't to be.
No one can ever explain how this can ever seem fair. Time cannot and should not heal the
loss of someone so loved. It happens every day to someone somewhere. It has happened and will happen until
the end of time. It seems that we are no better off than the animals and plants when it comes to death. We
all recycle, ashes to ashes and dust to dust. The cycle of life and death is common to all life. The
spark of life does not come to inaminate objects but to creatures and life forms that start out as cells dividing and conquering
the space alotted to them as they receive nutrition and grow into either huge oak or redwood trees or something as fragile
as a tiny tubular plant on the bottom of the sea next to a heat spewing vent.
The spark of life coaxes minerals and chemicals into living forms that are constantly changing
until the spark recedes back into the main stream from which it came and the remaining lifeless shell settles back into the
August 30, 2003
One day after my birthday. I am
sitting in the Holiday Inn in Bethlehem, Pa. Four years ago I was here starting
my new position in Bethlehem, Pa. Sally would take me to the airport on Monday
at 6:00 AM and pick me up on Friday. We did this for 9 months. I might have well been an over-the-road truck driver.
The company allowed so many trips and Sally was looking after her Mother at
the time so there were few opportunities for a weekend together. I will
never forget the weekend she was here with me when they have the Friday beach party.
They play oldies and have free hors' dorderves. The DJ was playing name that artist. The song was Long cool
woman in a Black Dress. I whispered the Hollies into her ear and she ran up and
won the prize. I still have it. A
network recorded top hits collection of CDs that were used at a local radio station.
I visited Mary today. Mary is
Sallys adopted Mother. She was born in 1911.
She now resides in Gracedale Nursing home in Northhampton County, Pa. The
ninth floor tower, room D1, I was told by the Droopy look-alike behind the info counter.
Droopy was a cartoon character that was obviously, droopy in the face.
When I arrived on the floor a man wheeling his wife in a bed was waiting to
get on the elevator. I held the door and as she went by the elderly lady said
thanks handsome, I replied, Youre welcome beautiful. As I walked away I could
hear her saying thank you; thank you.
I saw her sitting just as Brittany and I saw her in February of this year. Her hair was done in nice tight gray curls.
She held her hands folded in her lap and her dim grey eyes scanning back and forth looking for something to lock onto. No small talk with her. I got straight
to the point and told her of Sallys passing. Her facial expression changed a
little into a surprised look. I sat with her for
half hour and told her as much as I could think to tell her.
As I left I hugged her and told her it would probably be the last time I would
see her. She said goodbye. The first
time I have heard her speak in some time. I then crouched down and looked her
in the eyes and I told her I loved her. She said I love you back.
The ninth and tenth floor of Gracedale is a warehouse of elderly women that
lived full lives, loved, worked, played, and raised families. Now they sit and wait for their unscheduled demise. Maybe
someone should tell them it is ok to move on. That is what I told Mary.