Friday, January 27, 2012

Contemplative Friday

For those of you who don’t know – and probably none of you do, because I didn’t fucking post anything about it – Shelley’s mom came to visit over the holidays. She was here from the middle of December to the middle of January. It was a nice visit. She’s 82 years old.

Anyway…she has a friend named Laurie at the retirement home where she lives. I met briefly her in 2010 when we went to Washington. She was a nice old broad. When Shelley’s mom was here, the two women texted one another regularly. They were friends because nearly all the other men and women at the retirement home were prude, uptight, fuddy-duddies. These two women weren’t. They were a bit crass, young-at-heart, and loved laughing.

A couple of days ago Laurie got up for breakfast as she did every day. She got dressed, put on make-up, and laid down on the couch for a rest before going down. Laurie didn’t show up for breakfast. They found her lying peacefully on the couch and rushed her to the hospital where she died the following morning around 2:00am.

I didn’t know Laurie save for that one short meeting, but I was kinda moved by her passing. I think it was a combination of the way she died, the fact that Shelley’s mom lost her best friend, and my own sobering realization (again!) of my continued aging and mortality.

It also made me think muchly about how I want to go when it’s my time. I certainly hope I have some say in it. I don’t much like the idea of a sudden death, because I might’ve forgotten to do or say something. I know I won’t care after I’m dead, but I wonder if there’ll be a split second of realization that this is the time. You know…”Oh shit. I’m dying.” Life and loved ones flash before my eyes. I see a bright light. Then an infinitesimal moment of ultra-anxious realization that I forgot to tell someone goodbye, tell someone I love them, say I’m sorry, eat something I always meant to cook but kept blowing off, hug someone, pet the cats, get my affairs in order, or delete the porn from my computer.

Damn it. No one told me I was gonna get old and die. Wait. Yes. My mom did. Shit. Well. We’ll have a good laugh about that when next I see her.


Denis Verdecia said...

I guess I was 35 when the realization hit me that I was mortal. From that point I understood that everyday above ground is a gift. I look at how people try to cheat death every day. They are so focused on that goal that they miss living. I decided I did not want to go that route. I do what I have to, but focus on what I want to do, and hope that when I go, I go with a little class and dignity.

The_Gator said...

My mom always tells me to make sure I have clean underwear on.

Carlos said...

@Dennis - Amen. The older I get, the more I apprciate how long I've been around, despite a few years of reckless living. I've had brief mortality epiphanies from time to time in the past, but not like I've had recently. I's not driving me nuts, but it's oddly persistent. Dignity - yes.

@Gator - And I certainly hope you do what your mom says, elsewise you're gonna be embarrassed by your skidmarks in the afterlife. ;-)

TC said...

I love that two women in their 80s were texting :)