Golden Lucy's Spiral Journal

Going on 87...Savoring and Surviving the Senior Years

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Week of Peace and Tears

Oh my Gawd!! Am I really that old? I look like a corpse. But I'm a happy corpse. We had a lovely Shabbat this weekend and I'm grateful for every weekend I get---especially the lovely ones! However, this Shabbat was bittersweet as Teresa, one of the-most-precious-and-adored-granddaughters-in-law-in-the-world received the most distressing news.

One of Teresa's dearest friends experienced what I can only describe as anybody's worst nightmare. I'm not even sure how to relate the incident without trivializing it but I'll try. Toni has been Teresa's friend for many years. Toni has a beautiful little girl with her longtime boyfriend Manny. Manny was an intelligent and sensitive guy but found drugs and alcohol even more enticing than Toni and his little daughter. After many years of personal struggle Manny appeared to be heading in a positive direction. He and Toni resumed communication and their future relationship seemed to hold promise.

But it was not to be. In short, Manny shot himself in the head in front of Toni last week. However, he didn't die immediately. After two days he was pronounced brain-dead and disconnected from life-support. But the thing is, he had identified himself as an organ donor and his skin, eyes and organs gave new life to many desperate and hopeful people.

I'm still processing the news...On one hand such tragedy and trauma. On the other, the gift of hope. It will take me a while to process. But then I think of the avocado pit my great-grandson stuck in one of our flowerpots. Two tiny leaves have appeared above the dirt. I know the pit is dissolving and disappearing to make the burgeoning of new life possible.

The older I get the more I know that life is a cycle of death and rebirth. I want, while I live, to contribute to life. Death for me, I hope, will come quietly and peacefully...but not until I have truly lived here and now.