Saturday, 7 June 2008

Death ...

I wouldn't mind dying - it's the business of having to stay dead that scares the shit out of me.

R. Geis



I have deliberately chosen an irreverant quotation to start this topic. It is not my intention to make it a long post as the subject matter leaves me deflated.

The old lady in the second house died suddenly. Sure, she was knocking on a bit, but she appeared to be as healthy as the next person. No cause for celebration. We truly did not wish her on her final journey; indeed she may have become a welcome neighbour had our plans been allowed to move along a little more speedily. There is a little verse by Henry Worton that probably sums up this lady's latter years. It goes, "He first deceas'd; She for a little tri'd to live without him: lik'd it not, and di'd." I say 'probably' because I don't actually know that that was the case, but I prefer to interpret her sudden departure with poignancy rather than sadness.

No sooner had we managed to put that unexpected event behind us (time does heal, or at least it dulls the senses) when, a couple of months later, the old fella next door also passed away.

The old man was the father of the 'geezer' son I've mentioned in an earlier post. He got some of our sympathy, but the largest part was reserved for the old lady. We waited several months to find out what plans she had for her future. We wondered whether she, too, would move in with her son. It soon became clear that the son's filial responsibility didn't seem to stretch to his mother's wellbeing; only the property in which she lived. Eventually Maria paid her a visit to offer our belated condolences, fully aware that the visit could be construed as being slightly insensitive. As it turned out it was less traumatic for Maria than she expected. The old lady was relatively upbeat, readily accepted that her loss had an inevitability about it, considering their ages, and then timidly asked how soon it would be before Donna Maria moved in next door? She declared that living on her own, cut off from the rest of the village, was not to her liking. She really was a lonely old lady!

Maria asked her if she was prepared to move closer to her friends, if she could fix it. The old lady was delighted with the suggestion. Maria fixed it. She talked (persuasively) to one of the partner-directors about the possibility of allowing the old lady to move into one of the small houses that he had already bought, same terms and conditions, for as long as she lived. He agreed and the move took place soon after. What's more, the old lady was now moved into a house that was 'luxurious' compared to the one she was leaving. She even had an indoor bathroom and toilet, and she was amongst her old friends. Happy outcome, all things considered!

And for the less charitable of my readers, yes, we too came out ahead of the game!

But there is always a 'gotcha'. The price of the property , now vacant-possession, went up a tad.

Hmmmmmmmmmm ...

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Here's a toast to your health.

"Lang May Yer Lumb Reek!"
(Scottish for 'long may your chimney smoke')

or if you prefer,

"Bottoms Up!"