Sunday, November 3, 2013


When our realtor showed what became our new home, she hadn't a key to the front door.  Our only way in was to buzz the neighbors and hope they would give us entry.  As luck would have it, she rang the buzzer for the couple who lived in the condo below what became ours.

Our buzz was answered by a vibrant woman of indeterminate age, (old enough to be my mother) who speaking with a luscious Kentucky lilt introduced herself, and welcomed us to the building.  Her first name- Jane-was that of my mother's.  I was seduced by the innate ability of a Southern women to make anyone feel comfortable and  knew I wanted to live here.

Looking around upstairs I  found MY space, took a brief look around the rest of the space, opened the door to the porch and was greeted by cigar smoke wafting from our greeter's husband's afternoon cigar. I then knew I was home.  Although older than time itself, the couple downstairs became fast friends.

Like most older folk, our neighbors have health issues.  If its not one thing its been another, taking turns, he then she. It would have been tough to say who was in better shape, until  Mom's heart surgery last Thursday. She died Friday night of complications of surgery she didn't want to have. After  60+ years the glue that held her family together has passed. Dad's world has come to an end.  

My parents died too young so I was spared dealing with aging parents, Mrs. T's folks, while contemporaries of our neighbors, are in good health (thank goodness) but I know many of you deal with sick and aging family daily. It's thankless and physically and mentally crushing.  You are doing the work of angels.

 Our neighbor's were at the cusp of their inevitable downward spiral.  For some death is a relief, for others the work just begins.

Janie we miss you, rest in peace.



Gail, in northern California said...

November 7 would have marked 43 years together. Life without him is unbearable.

Anonymous said...

Gail, God speed.

Toad, my father is 89 and beginning to deteriorate. You're right, it is crushing to see.

Jane seemed like a lovely woman.

Anonymous said...

So much unbearable sadness all around us, and now more of it downstairs, and Gail's crushing grief as well. My heart goes out to you,


Toad said...

We all make jokes of how when you're gone I'll... Until that day, you can never understand just how much one person means to the world. We are all so intertwined.

Gail, I share your grief. Time does not heal all wounds, and as the anniversary of your loss approaches, our thoughts are with you.

preppyplayer said...

So sad, grief. I don't think it ever goes away.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Jane's passing. Jayne left way too soon and I miss her constantly. Glad you're healthy! xoxo - KT

Patsy said...

To Gail and KT, my deep sympathies. I'm sorry you lost your new friend, Toad.

My parents are OK-ish, but my in-laws are not. It is heartbreaking for all. Lucky we've had them as long as we have.

old polo said...

Thank You Toad for this poinant scene. You have managed to encapsolate a full life. Thank you.