A Reflection on the End
I was thinking last night as I lay awaiting to lift my charge to the bathroom... again. This woman has had quite an abundant life. She is part of an illustrious New York family, one in which many books have been written detailing their rise to financial success and then social superiority. She is a lovely woman who lived in a tony CT town just outside NYC, member of all the right clubs, volunteer in all of the right organizations. Routinely indulging in laissez-faire activity of the privileged such as bridge, golf, tennis, travel etc. She traveled a lot to Africa, Tanzania, the Serenghetti, with friends, bought a lot of art and took many pictures. She contributed to the quality of life of her friends and family. I don't know that she ever contributed to the advancement of general knowledge of humanity but she was certainly a positive force in her circle. Now that she is living out her last 5+ years in intellectual and physical isolation what was it all for? I'm sure she was on the right party lists, the right volunteer lists, making sure not to step on anyone's toes or if so then trying not to make an event of it. Basically trying to stay out of trouble because scandal is so disruptive to the flow of a happy life. Gossiping a bit because that's just what people do, even though they say they don't... hopefully not being malicious about it. Going to school and donating money to charitable causes are always a good thing to do. It cleans up your sins better than going to church some might say. But now that she is living in basic isolation who is really important to her? Not her cronies in the garden club whose toes she tried to avoid, not the Board members of the organizations she was on, not the people planning the parties and sending the invitations. What is the relevance of all of those people now? Those who are important to her are those taking care of her. Those who are making her tea and fixing her breakfast. Those who are washing her clothes and helping her make phone calls as well as those helping her in the shower. All of her past activities and friends are now gone, so what was it all for? She didn't leave a legacy except for another chapter in the family history book. Another chapter illustrating contemporary leisure and charitable relevance. She may have made a terrific apple pie but who's around to eat it now, they are all gone. If there's no one to eat your pie then how do you know if it's any good or if it would have made a difference in anyone's day.Now her life is just us care givers and we adore her. She's a hoot and a half. We are now her friends who she relies on for amusement and activity. Who she talks about and refers to. We are the ones who will be with her 'til the very end so who even were those other people? She does have one daughter who comes to visit, who was never married nor had children. You know they are continuing to make a difference in each other's life because they still share stories, ideas and love.I am sure all of the donations she made to her favorite causes are still benefiting from her kindness. She has left happy memories in the history books. She will be leaving the world with good stories. But for now it's just us and the air she breathes... until she stops.