A NEW LEARNING
She was 88 years of age and she had been married to Dad (Ed) for 66 years, and at 11:00 PM Eastern time her life came to an end in the Tabor Manor home where she had spend the last few years of her life.
We are lonely still, we three sons and our wives and our children and their children. Not for the woman she became in the last years, distant, unresponsive, ill and struggling. Because she became that, we were relieved for her sake when her body shut down. We mourned that Dad was left alone at age 92. We were saddened that our relationship with this woman was now entirely one of memories. She was known for the strength of her hugs and we all remembered that but could no longer feel it. We remembered her blue eyes but could no longer gaze into them. We remembered how proudly and thankfully she spoke of her children and grandchildren and their accomplishments but we could no longer hear her. We remembered how predictably well put together she was, how attractive her clothing and hair and face but we could no longer see her.
The truth is that as her mind grew frail and her memory clouded, she changed, not willfully but helplessly. She could not care for herself because she was increasingly unconcerned about how she looked and unaware of how to affect her appearance. She was increasingly uncommunicative because recognition and language was not accessible to her. It took an agonizingly long time for the erosion to transpire and even as it did, the ravishing young woman with whom my father had fallen in love, and the strikingly mature woman whom he grew to love more than life itself disappeared from his view but not from his heart. He handled his grief so admirably as his family observed. I am thrilled forever that my grown children, and my brothers’ children were all present in a beloved group hug when they heard the soft voice of my father stand by her body to say, “Goodbye sweetheart. I’ll be seeing you soon.”
Did I say we miss her? Dad missed her more. We miss Dad as well. Four months later Dad celebrated his ninety-third birthday and one month after that, our able bodied, keen minded father left for heaven too. Apartment 313 became available and they moved into a mansion.