Mabel died today. Actually she died last night after a fall which induced her last and final heart-attack. The simple black-bordered notice was tagged on the bulletin board in the hallway leading to the dining room which I saw this morning on my way to breakfast. Apparently, Friday the 13th lived up to its reputation, at least for Mabel.
I felt a pinge of sadness although I barely knew her. In my two weeks in this place, I have seen her here and there sitting hunched over on a chair, her walker next to her. I said "Hello" a few times in passing but she did not look up or respond in any way. I figured she did not want to socialize or be bothered by any meaningless chatter. No one probably knew how close she was to her end, maybe, just maybe, she was the only one who could feel the march of the dark angel in charge of diffusing her feeble light.
"Night's candles are burnt out and the jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops..." -Shakespeare
I am a new resident here. "You are too young to go there," opined my family. "Wait another ten years or more and then decide," stated a few others. "The company you keep there would only hasten your own end," warned a few others. I knew that the average age of the residents here is 90+, a good 25 years ahead of me, but I still wanted to be here. Something or someone kept whispering in my ears:
They do everything for you at this Chateau La Jolla Inn, well, almost everything, and all the creature comfort is built right in. Don't feel like cooking? No problem. Go to the dining room and order your meal from a menu to eat in their elegant environs with others, or have it delivered to your room and dine in complete privacy. Bathroom is shabby? They will be here every week to straighten it out. Carpets have crumbs all over? These will be vacuumed every week as well. The list could go on. I did not think it was possible to avail myself of all these amenities for a not too unreasonable fee.
After being married, raising two children, and having a career for 28 years, I was finally living on my own and alone. For many years it was great and quite enjoyable until isolation became insurmountable and I needed company -- human contact which does not include physical intimacy but provides comfort in camarederie.
This is almost like having my childhood days back. Nothing is expected from me, nothing at all. But anything I may need or want would be given to me at my request. The concept is so new that I have to pinch myself to see if I am dreaming.
The best part of this new life is there is no "To Do List" any longer. I hope this relief lasts for me for a little while. I was very tired living my life, but no more of that.
There is an old Hindi quote, "Ishque ka ek rose kiya, ek baras kiya," which roughly translates to "Love's one day could easily feel like one whole year of sweetness."