If thinking about death or dying makes you uncomfortable, then don’t read this post. Read an older post and wait for the next one. Or read someone else’s blog post. Just don’t read this one.
The other night I had a really strange dream. I dreamt how I was going to die. Isn’t that weird? Not exactly the dream you want to have or even remember. But I woke up the next morning and all the details were still there. The people who were with me. The place where I was. And how I was about to die. I’ll spare you the gist of it but it was a rather violent death. Although the time of death was rather vague.
Normally I try not to think about death or dying. But as I get older, I seem to be surrounded by it more. And especially when Covid hit, and I lost a few people I knew to that ugly virus. Each year I return to Washington state from Mexico and find out that friends have passed away. I also read the Winnipeg Free Press on Saturdays and recognize names in the obituaries as well.
I was talking to a friend the other day whose stepmother is dying. I found out that a former bridge partner passed away. And I’m sure there are more than a handful I don’t even know about. Just last weekend at the 9/11 service in Cashmere, I was reminded of all the people who died because of terrorism.
When I was in Winnipeg over the summer, I went to the cemetery to visit the graves of my parents as well as other family members. I can’t get over how that cemetery has expanded since I was last there five years ago.
However there’s also a positive side to dying. Surprised? I’m referring to how summer is ending and flowers are dying. I view it as fall is approaching which means that those gorgeous, colorful leaves will soon be here. Fall is my favorite time of year, especially here in Washington. My tree in Cashmere is already beginning to change color and I can’t wait to see those spectacular red leaves again. Last year I was already back in Mexico when that happened.
My final comment on death. There was no cliffhanger on this topic when Virgin River ended this season. Actually, after the multitude of cliffhangers last season, there wasn’t much at all this season. We were even told that Charmaine’s twins aren’t Jack’s. A little on the disappointing side.
On Saturdays I generally check out the obituaries in The Winnipeg Free Press. Last week I didn’t have to wait until Saturday. It hit a lot closer to home.
While I’m in Winnipeg I’m staying with my friend Lise. When we first met, I was living in Oak Bluff and Lise was living in Fannystelle, about twenty minutes away on Highway 2. She and her husband Bob used to come in to Winnipeg for auctions, and that’s where we first met.
Both Lise and I had businesses on Ebay and would regularly check out estate sales and auctions in the rural areas. We also sold in rural flea markets together.
Years ago when Lorazepam was my best friend, Lise was one of my biggest sources of support. And she was also a rock when I was going through an ugly divorce.
I moved away twelve years ago but our friendship has remained strong. Throughout the years Lise has visited my parents regularly in a Jewish cemetery here in Winnipeg and even sends me photos. By the way, Lise is Catholic.
Bob has been in a personal care home since April. His condition deteriorated quickly in the two weeks since I had arrived in Winnipeg. And yesterday the funeral was held in Fannystelle.
Returning to Fannystelle brought back a flood of memories. I visited with people I hadn’t seen in years. And I heard of others who are no longer with us.
While I like to think that I am the one who makes the decisions, there is someone else who has a plan for me and leads me to exactly where I’m supposed to be as well as when I’m supposed to be there. I often ponder the reason, but right now it’s quite clear in this case.
Rest in peace, Bob. You’re in heaven now with Jesus.
It’s been an interesting week. Haven’t quite decided which is worse….no phone or no Wi-Fi.
I spent a relaxing few days out at Rita’s cabin. No Wi-Fi but I had a phone. Visited, watched movies and vegged. The weather cooperated but the mosquitos were maneaters.
Returned to Winnipeg and had both a phone and Wi-Fi. But it was short-lived. AT&T switches over to Rogers and Rogers went down all over Canada. Very frustrating considering the time constraints I have here and the planning needed to organize my time in order to see my friends.
The highlight of the week was the time spent with my son. Please congratulate me. I cried before and after the visit, not during. First time we were together in five years. We had a wonderful visit and he barbecued a delicious dinner. We’ll be getting together again soon and I am looking forward to it.
On a sad note, I’m staying with my friend Lise and her husband passed away in a personal care home this week. Please keep them in your prayers.
It’s Sunday again and it’s strange not to be at Sage Hills. But I will enjoy having brunch and spending the day with David.
Today is November 17th and it’s also my Dad’s birthday. The last time I celebrated this day with him was in 1976, a few months before he died.
My dad was my hero, my best friend, my rock. There has never been anyone in my life who has ever been able to provide the unconditional love and security that I felt when my dad was alive.
Among many other things, my dad taught me to ride a bike and to drive a car. But what I remember most was the hours we spent together just talking. He was always there to listen and offer advice. Precious memories I cherish in my heart.
Back in 1980 I was pregnant with Kyle and was hoping he would be born on my dad’s birthday. But that didn’t happen. Instead he was born a week later on my parents’ anniversary, November 24th. And that made that date special again.
February is a short month, and this past week has not been the greatest. The groundhog saw his shadow back on February 2nd, so maybe that explains all the snow we’re getting now. It may also account for the temperatures that have plummeted from the forties down to the teens.
But I’m not complaining too loudly. When I talk to friends back in Winnipeg I hear stories of extreme windchills and cars not starting. That’s a typical winter on the Canadian prairies.
A friend in Winnipeg is back in the hospital as they still try to determine the cause of an infection. Another friend just lost her brother to cancer. More friends in Mexico are struggling with Covid and one has died.
While Canada is imposing even stricter restrictions, here in Washington state things are opening up. I must admit that I’m confused by church gatherings with no masks and dine-in restaurants open in some towns but not in others. So much for state mandated rules.
Today is Valentine’s Day. Last year on this day I was in Aguascalientes at the park coloring and visiting with a friend. Today I’m coloring inside at home, glancing out the window at the falling snow.
The highlight of this past week is undoubtedly the three video calls I received from my eleven-year-old grandson in Culiacan. He usually calls me twice a week, so the extra call was truly a blessing. He tells me what he is studying in his online classes. He reads me stories he’s written. He tells me about his favorite videogames. Occasionally we talk about Covid.
I hope next week will be a better one. I’m tired of hearing about illness and death and quarantine.
Another Father’s Day without you today. We haven’t celebrated this day together in 44 years. You were taken from me way too soon.
When you died I lost my hero, my best friend and my sense of security. You were always there for me. I could talk to you about anything and everything. And there has never been anyone else in my life who could fill that void.
I treasure the memories I have in my heart. I can still see you assembling the swing set in the backyard on Brock Street. You were so patient in teaching me how to ride a bike and then later on teaching me how to drive a car.
I remember the day we were at Ashdowns buying tools and I fell in love with a pink pyjama dog. I cuddled with Pinky every night for years.
I absolutely adore this photo of us at Van Kirk Gardens. You always sculpted a beautiful garden around our house. You knew my favorite flowers were marigolds and there was always a special place set aside for them.
Sometimes you’d go back to the office to work in the evenings. I’d take along my homework and go with you.
At Christmas we’d go for rides to see the lights and always check out the Carlings display. It was such a magical place with a nursery rhyme theme.
We had intense conversations when we went for rides or walks. Two of your favored phrases have stuck with me through the years. Honesty is the best policy. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
You instilled a set of values in me that have made me the person I am today. And I have tried to pass these on to my children, the grandchildren you sadly never had the chance to meet. They have missed out on having an amazing grandfather in their lives.
There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think of you.
Death. A cause for celebration or a time to dread. I guess it depends on your outlook on life. I heard that there was a museum of death here in Aguascalientes and I had to check it out. After all, Dia de las Muertes is one of my favorite experiences here in Mexico.
I was greeted at the door by this lovely skull. It was also a Wednesday so admission was free.
This museum is home to a collection of items pertaining to burial customs, including photographs of the dead. I was directed down a dark, steep flight of stairs into a crypt where I found this creature.
As I wandered through the various rooms, I was amazed at the display of artifacts dealing with death throughout the ages. There are literally hundreds of paintings, sculptures, lithographs and photos. Here is a small sampling:
This museum is definitely a must for any tourist visiting Aguascalientes.