Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Monday, June 30, 2008
Dancing with Owen at a Shoreline Swing Dance, East Lyme, CT (2006)
But most of all, she took lots of time to spend with me during the last six years of her life. We often argued and fought but we always made up and got back together. Until the last two days of her life. She called me on a Tuesday afternnon and told me she had a heart attack, that she'd been in the hospital. And had I seen my niece, Julia? I had no idea she was having health problems. Only in the end did this strong, sturdy, rather large woman, but shapely, tell me she couldn't make it up her own stairs. Only after her passing did I find out from someone hired by the probate court to clean out her house and her belongings, that there was a hole in her bathroom floor on the second floor and a hole in her roof, courtesy of a January storm when a tree fell on it. What I did notice or rather feel, was her "spirit" get old since her next to last birthday, two years ago now. I say, "feel it" because I often feel what others around me are feeling and sense things without knowing why. Very unnerving, tiring. I'm an empath. There was just something. After she turned "a certain age," her spirit seemed to die first. She was no longer on my back about taking her to Ocean Beach (she didn't have a car, refused to take the bus), as in summers past. When a silly mood would come over me in July, she would get mad instead of joining in, said she was "going through something." I asked was it money, and she said, yes! Yes, it's money! But I knew it was more than that. It was just her time. Now she is "out there," enjoying herself, "sightseeing," as it were. And helping me out, with or without my asking (which I do plenty of, these days). She was such a "big" presence in my life that I found life without her very difficult this past year. Within two days of her passing, she called and told me she had a heart attack. We fought. She hung up. She called back but I wouldn't answer. I put my phone on "call blocking" because I knew if I accepted her calls, we would fight, and she would have another heart attack. I couldn't prevent it anyway. I refused to call her on her birthday, June 14, 2007. It was a lousy day, weather wise. Very gray and overcast. That night, I wrote out her birthday card. I unblocked my phone from her calls the next day. But it was too late. She never answered my calls. By the time I got there on Sunday, June 17, 2007, on Father's Day, she didn't answer the door. I saw her maibox, still full of mail! Someone driving by in a pick-up truck saw my agitated state and called the police, when I voiced my concerns. They came, four of them, surrounded her house, tried all doors and windows while I waited. One large man came out the front door with a stern look on his face. I stood and looked him in the eye.
Her cat, Indy once "diagnosed" that I had "something wrong in repro area" (later proved to be fibroids), after sitting on my lap one evening. (See "Chinese Medicine:" the Chinese believe in reincarnation. Paula used to tell me that she had two "near death experiences" in her life when she was "called back" by someone here. After one of these experiences, she found she could communicate with animals by "mental telepathy."
He paused in consternation, then said, "She passed away." "Huh!'' I gasped. "Oh. Thanks. Well, at least I know." And then, "I have to sit down." And there I sat on her porch stoop, in my bright turquoise and green sundress and black headband. Just then, other police cars came, sirens, a loud firetruck, and the ambulance. Standing beside her house on the hill, I felt the scene to be surreal, as if in a movie. I'm sure she would have loved that, the sheer drama of it. One of her neighbors came by and I said, "I have to go inside. I have to have a soda!" And I dropped onto his couch, crying and saying how bad I felt, how much I hoped I had done for her, etc., etc. Called my mother to have someone come pick me up (my two sisters, Kelley and Kim) so I could visit them on Father's Day.... I hope this tribute was good enough, Paula. Also without revealing too much personal information! Until we meet again,
(Standing outside of her home in New London, CT, October 2007)