Sunday, October 11, 2015

Another Loss

Jack,, Ron and Elaine; the three oldest children of the three Hadfield Sisters ("The Hadfield Girls")

Last Saturday night, while I was on my computer talking to Pat on FaceTime my landline rang. "What could this be?" I thought since it was too late for my daily robo call from Credit Card Services of America with my "last chance" to transfer my credit card balances (which I have NONE) and lock in my rates.  Every day folks, I get that call and when I try to tell them to take me off their call list they hang up on my right away.  The "Credit Card Services of America" is a scam which I'm afraid I will have to live with the rest of my life.  They will never die.  Unlike the phone call I received.  

The call was from Arlene T., my cousin Jack's wife.  She told me that Jack had died as a result of going into a coma after his open heart operation.  He was on a ventilator but I know Jack and he wouldn't want to be kept alive this way.  Arlene told me that they took him off the ventilator and he died.  Jack was only 76 years old.


Cousin Jack (I will miss you) - 2005

Jack was the oldest son of my Mother's sister, and my Aunt Grace.  I liked Jack.  Jack dying was yet another reminder of my mortality.  

A few years back Randy R. died.  He was also my first cousin and the son of my Mother's other sister, my Aunt Jeanette.  I liked Randy.  He died in his sleep.  


Cousin Randy (I will miss you Randy) - 2005


Ten years ago I took my Mother to visit her sister Jeanette who was in the dementia unit of Simpson Meadows in Downingtown.  At that time we had a mini Hadfield (my mother's maiden name) reunion.  The occasion was the funeral of my Uncle George, husband of my Aunt Jeanette.  Little did I know but this was the last time the "Hadfield Girls" (as my cousin Jack liked to call them) got together.  


(from left to right - Mrs. Brookover (my friend's mother); my Mom, my Aunt Jeanette and my Aunt Grace - 2005
All gone now

I have two sides to my family.  My father, a purebred hillbilly (oh yes, hillbillies exist) from the mountains of western North Carolina.  And then my Mother and her Quaker roots.  My Mother's family was very poor, but of a genteel class.  I attribute my mixed up personality to these two, almost totally opposite roots.  Hillbilly and Quaker, picture that in your mind.


My Mom and my maternal Aunts Jeanette and Grace - the three best aunts this gay boy could have - 2005 at the Simpson Meadows home - my Aunt Jeanette had severe dementia but she knew my Mother

So anyway folks, what's the point of this post?  Just another sad marker in the limited time I have left on this earth and that I intend to make the full use of that time.


My Mother and maternal aunts with their three oldest children standing behind them - Jack's wife Arlene is to the far right - 2005

Yesterday Bill and I visited an old friend of ours, Bart R. No last last because Bart is still in the closet if you can believe that.  Bart is 93 years old now.  Bart moved down here to Delaware because of the low taxes and to be near Jim and Bob, who were much younger than Bart.  Bob died last year and Jim is in assisted care.  Jim doesn't even remember what he had for lunch yesterday (Bart relayed this information to us).  Thank goodness Bart still lives in his own home.  He is fortunate that he has a good neighbor that looks in on him and makes sure everything this all right.


Bart at his home yesterday with Bill - Bart fell and broke his hip earlier this year (about the same time I fell and tore up my left leg) 

Not to dwell on this subject but lately I've been thinking of all my friends and relatives who have died in the last five years and it sometimes becomes overwhelming.  I try not to think about this too much lest I sink into a depression.  As I have mentioned so often before in this blog, I do not fear death.  To the contrary, in a way I look forward to it because I do know it will be an Eternal Rest.  The only thing I fear is how I get there.  I don't want a prolonged, painful and humiliating death in which I am dependent on someone to go on existing.  Governor Brown in California signed a right to die bill which gives me even more impetus to eventually move to California while my two legs can get me around.

Bart is fortunate that he has a neighbor to look in on him.  I fear that if and when Bill goes before I do (he just turned 87 but is in fine health), I will be alone,  totally alone.  I have my friend Pat but he is in Toronto.  I have no one else.  I am estranged from my two brothers (because I dared to get legally married) and their families and I wouldn't want their help anyway.  Why would I want to put my burden on their families?  They have their own lives to live.  

Well, anyway.  These are the thoughts that occasionally are going through my mind while I play online Scrabble, or plant spring bulbs outside.  I remember when Audrey Hepburn was informed that she had only so long to live.  She went outside and planted spring bulbs (much like the Bette Davis character did in "Dark Victory"), knowing she would never see them.

Geraldine Fitzgerald and Bette Davis in "Dark Victory" - the scene in which Bette's character realizes that she will die soon because she feels the heat from the sun on her hands as she is planting the bulbs but she realizes her sight is gone which was when the doctor told her she would die
Yep, that's me folks.  The Drama Queen thinking the same thing while I'm planting my spring bulbs this year.


Today is a beautiful autumn day.  I think I'll take Bill for a ride up to the Primehook Nature Reserve later today.  Each day folks, I plan to make the most of it because I never know when I no longer will be able to do that.  When I injured my leg this year and couldn't get around for weeks, that was a preview what my life would be like if I feel and broke my hip and was dependent on others just to live.  Thank goodness Bill was here to take care of me and I didn't have to go into a rehab center for those eight weeks it took me to walk.

I'm rambling folks.  

Have a great day!


17 comments:

  1. I was reminded how everyone is growing older at my family reunion a couple of weeks ago. One of my grandmother's siblings is left of the 12.
    Does Bill have any siblings or other family left? You never talk about Bill. I worry about him if you "go" first. ;-)

    So grand that your friend Bart is 93 and still kicking ass and taking names.

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    1. Denise,
      I think Bill has an older sister that is still alive. However, we don't know because Bill has been estranged from his whole family since he was confronted at his Mother's funeral (53 years ago) about being gay. So both of us are estranged from our families because of who we are. By the way, I don't talk too much about Bill because he prefers me not to talk about him on my blog. I try to honor his wishes.
      Bart is a pretty cool guy. He's probably going to outlive all of us.
      Ron

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  2. I am sorry for your loss. As we age loved ones (two and foot footers) will die on us, yes. It is the price we pay for loving somebody: we miss them so when they are gone. Indeed every death should poke us a little bit to remind us to live each day as well and as sincerely as we can.

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    1. Dr. Spo,
      This is truly the best time of my life. My time is my own. I have everything I want. Sure, I have physical aches and pains that I didn't have when I was a young man and in my prime. But at this time of my life I have something that I didn't have when I was younger, I have contentment. I live with a man who loves me very much. I have a wonderful, understanding, new good friend in Pat. I have balance in my life. Retirement and working part-time. I have interests that I love. I am happy.
      Ron

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  3. Ron - as far as I know Scorpios go from one extreme to the other having a kind of intense personality. And I think this post manifests a bit of that. You can, in your few words, pictures etc conjure up a mood that is quite introspective and a little daunting - a little sad. And then, in a nice upbeat way, you bring in your friend Bart "hello dere" which just made me laugh out loud - he's outlived his friends and is (certainly by this short clip) seemingly upbeat with life.
    All good. I'm sorry about your passing friends and family - pretty sure this is going on with some of your blog readers too. But thank you for posting these bits of life as is our human condition.

    Pat

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    1. Pat,
      Again, thank you Pat for your kind and generous comments. My life is so good now and I am exactly where I planned to be at this time of my life. However, every time a friend or relative passes it only reminds me of another part of my life that is gone forever. I am so thankful to have friends like you that make my life so meaningful now.
      Ron

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  4. There is a line in a Jimmy Buffet song, "I'd rather die while I am living, then live when I am dead." Kind of sums it all up.

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    1. David,
      You are right on the mark . . . again! I live each day with purpose.
      Ron

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  5. Roger5:36 PM

    I predict at 96 you I'll still be writing this blog.

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    1. Roger,
      I can't imagine me at 96 years old but I'm going to give it a try. One thing is for sure, I will have lost most if not all of my friends by then.
      Ron

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  6. Sorry for your loss my condolences to you.

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    1. Thank you Larry. Jack was one of my special cousins. We both had a career in banking. He used to call and tease me every time there was another bank merger. We had a friendly "cousin" competition for many years.
      Ron

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  7. You've written another post that hits home, Ron. I often get deeply depressed when I think of how many of my friends and relatives have died. Even my cousins are all old now. I fear the things that you've mentioned (like being alone). I hate to sound depressing, but these are harsh realities.....

    All we can do is live for the moment and hope for the best.

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    1. Jon,
      When I think of a future without Bill and Pat in my life, I go blank. I have a tentative plan to have pets to replace these two very important people in my life. I hope that works. But if it doesn't, well I'll have to cross that bridge when I come to it. I still believe that you're going to meet that special person. Might even be one of those lovely "farm ladies." (smile)
      Ron

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  8. I used to love going to the Primehook Reserve when I was young which was a long time ago. I am not sure I want to be the last man standing either.

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    1. Jono,
      Prime hook is a treasure. I can't believe it took me nine years to discover it! And it's only two miles up the road from where I live!
      Ron

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    2. Anonymous8:59 PM

      I really enjoy your blog.. I relate to how you feel as you are getting older. You are a young 74 .... This month has been a strange month.. this past year has been hard losing people. Good people leaving..... I understand....I look forward to your blogs. When good people leave its hard not to focus on our own mortality..... you aren't going anywhere soon...except to Hollywood~Elizabeth

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