I met her when she was in her late 80’s and fell instantly in love with the fragile-looking, stubborn, old Lady, who happened to be our new neighbor.
One of our dogs started barking at her through the fence, just a few days after we had moved in. I was ready to scold the dog when I heard the old lady talk to it. “It’s nice meeting you too. You are just saying hello to me, aren’t you.” Our dog, a shepherd-chow mix, stopped barking, sat down and the two had a conversation. One talked about her flowers, and the weather, our dog listened. From that day on they always met on the fence line.
I introduced myself and just like our dog, I fell head over heels as well but didn’t want to be her friend. She was so much older and I knew what that meant. HEARTBREAK ON THE HORIZON. The mind works one way, the heart another. Of course, we became friends, despite our age difference. I often walked over to her house and she MADE ME watch ‘Dancing with the Stars’ with her, or we just talked. We went shopping together and participated in each other’s holidays and special events. She always had a bottle of my favorite wine in the fridge, and I spoiled her with my cooking as often as I could.
“I am ready,” she told me one night. “My John is waiting for me,” she explained, talking about her husband who had passed away a few years earlier. “Maybe they are not ready for you up there,” I teased her and she laughed.
“I don’t want to outlive my kids and I understood.” By then she was 92. Her daughter was already in her 70’s, her sons were all retired, just her baby boy was still working. “We had him when I was 40, not sure how it happened. “I can explain that to you,” I offered and we both laughed until tears run down our faces.
When she started ‘downsizing’ and giving things away, we all knew what it meant. We spent our last Christmas, by Easter she was gone and left an empty spot in so many hearts.
Death has been taking my friends away, one by one, but not just that, death lingered in my mind. Every time I lost someone, I start thinking about who would be next. Would it be me? What about my husband? Instead of enjoying life to the fullest, I started reminiscing and wondering. How long do I have and what will be?
All of it is so against my nature. This had to stop!
I am writing to officially complain about your constant lurking, particularly in the corners of my mind, heart and soul.
The first 20 years of my life were fine, you left me pretty much alone, but the last 30+ years were different; I was always aware of your presence. You have had me in fear, that you could take away my life and send me hurling into a celestial abyss anytime you wanted to. You have had me in fear, that you would take my husband away or any other person I love. You left me scared and I started to wonder about my own demise as well. Not so much about the “when” but I started to fear about how you would get me. I came a few times close to meet you, but you backed off. Did I scare you?
You are putting up quite a show and you use special effects like wars and diseases, along with random weird acts by crazy people to scare me and you have succeeded so far.
I am writing this to inform you that I have canceled my subscription to your mindless propaganda, please remove my name from your mailing list. Let me explain why:
Death, you are an impostor, you are a fraud. You have paralyzed me, you have paralyzed an entire species. I am sorry to inform you, that it is no longer working. I feared you for too long…not anymore. I finally realized that you are just a part of life and there is nothing to fear. I live under life’s jurisdiction, which states plainly and in bold letters, that one day, life as I know it, will end. It will happen at an undisclosed time and at an undisclosed location. There are no secrets involved; life has been upfront with all of us right from the start. It might be tomorrow or 30 years from today.
As far as life not letting us in on when we leave this earth, this is merely for entertainment purposes and is not the least bit malicious. After all, how exciting is a good story, when you know how it ends?
My eyes are wide open now, I do not longer fear you. I am not longer paralyzed, I walk straight with my head held high. I will not longer sour my life with thoughts about you; you are going to be none existing for me.
You deserve to be pelted with rotten tomatoes in the town square and left in the hot sun till you shrivel to death yourself.
Until we meet