Friday, August 16, 2013

Deadly Laughter.


A dear old friend called me tonight on the cusp of my turning into a serious elder - my birthday is the 16th. She hesitated to tell me her news and then burst out with it. Her dad had died. A dad who was in his 97th year of life. A handsome dude who was a magnet for the ladies. Tall, elegant and he'd gallop through five miles a day as part of his constitutional. Until a couple of years ago when things started to slow down. But not his sharp mind. No, never that.

But. And I hesitated about writing this. But some things? A blogger just has to share. Especially if they've made you nearly throw up you've been laughing so very hard. I knew her dad and liked him. He played a mean game of cribbage. As mean as me. And enjoyed taking us out to dinner, one of us on each arm.

So her dad. I mentioned he was nearly 97? He had a really, really bad fall. It appears he was hanging up his trousers in his closet and lo and behold, he leaned back too far and fell backwards into his bathroom, cracking his head off the toilet while one of his ribs punctured a lung. A bit of a mess. So he lands in the hospital and my friend - I'll call her Susan - hears this story and something is not quite jelling with her. She knows the layout of his little suite in the seniors' residence and the closet is in the hall and the bathroom is around the corner from that just off his bedroom. A fall too far in other words. So she investigates. And ascertains that Kate is the one who reported that her father had fallen. So she goes to see her. Kate, Susan tells me, is power walking on the seniors' track in the shortest shorts Susan has ever seen on an 80 year old. Kate is embarrassed as she fumbles with the story. Won't meet Susan's eyes. Then Susan gets it.

Her dad was protecting Kate's honour. Sharp enough, gentlemanly enough to remember the reputation of his lady. So Dad decides he's going to leave now and refuses to eat and the doctors want to shove tubes down his throat but the family insists, it is his choice. Absolutely no tubes. So Dad arranges private farewells with all the family, his two surviving children, his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren. This took a couple of days. And then Susan slept beside his hospital bed for two nights holding his hand until he quietly tossed his mortal coil.

At the funeral, many older ladies came to Susan and told her they all loved to read to him, especially Kate. One of them would always read him to sleep every night after tucking him in. And sometimes in the afternoon too, Dad couldn't get enough of Kate's reading.

So now you know where we went with this right? Like I won't spell it out for you. But you can imagine how she and I savoured this, rolled with it, played with it, couldn't stop with the scenarios. Honked, screamed, slapped our thighs, snorted, ran out of breath. Tried. Oh, we tried to get sensible and serious and well, work up some wee bit of sads and grief. And failed. Again and again.

Oh, you handsome, wicked daredevil.

May we all crash out of life with such a, well, bang.



23 comments:

  1. It is one of the best ways to leave this earthly life, surely? I hope he went down smiling and with a good memory in his heart. And happy birthday to you!

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  2. Twice I have walked away because of the effort to post a comment. I have lost a long one this time to an error notice. Grrrr!

    On the off chance this goes through, have a wonderful birthday.

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  3. Happy Birthday and hahahahaha snort. I hope we both go out with a happy bang lol

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  4. I read and smile
    and think
    wonder if there is someone out there
    to read to me in these last
    years and tuck me in..
    Have not wanted this
    but maybe in the last days
    might be nice...

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  5. The only way to go.

    "Read to me and tuck me in" will be my new euphemism for "it"!

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  6. Oh, and WWW, a happy happy birthday to you.
    xxxx

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  7. Well I hope that whenever I leave this world I can say I've had as lively a final stretch as he had. Why go out demurely when you can go out with all guns blazing as it were....

    I hope you had a very happy birthday!

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  8. Irene:
    Thanks. Yes he lived and died as he wanted, always close to a lady's_____
    *snort*
    XO
    WWW

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  9. Thanks GM:
    And the same for me lately. I'm back to copying before I push the send button, really frustrating.
    XO
    WWW

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  10. Pauline:

    Bangs should be de rigeur, n'est pas?

    LOL
    XO
    WWW

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  11. OWJ

    It depends on what you mean by reading....:)

    XO
    WWW

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  12. Pamela:

    Oh lawd, me too, you should have witnessed last night's convo. We were literally helpless with the reading and the tucking in of various unmentionables.

    Filthy beasts, that's us and it was her DAD.

    XO
    WWW

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  13. Nick:

    We should keep those guns very well oiled. One never knows....

    I'll stop now.

    Thanks to all for the birthday wishes, it was a lovely day.

    XO
    WWW

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  14. Happy Birthday, WWW, and may we all go out with a bang!

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  15. Do you occasionally check your email. :)

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  16. Yup and I did respond - if you are the anon who wrote me :)

    XO
    WWW

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  17. Now that I have cooled down and managed to comment on your latest post I had another read of the above and the tears are running down my cheeks with laughter. Oldies with that spirit, give me hope!!!

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  18. Isn't it wonderful, GM? I still laugh out loud when I think of it. We were laughing solid on the phone for about an hour.
    It gave me hope. It really did.
    XO
    WWW

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  19. Death by sex. At 97.

    I want that on my tombstone.

    XO
    WWW

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  20. Oh yes, I would like to go that way too but without the hospitalisation that came with it.

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  21. Someone asked Arthur Godfrey how he wanted to die. He said, "I want to be shot by a jealous husband while making love to his wife, when I'm 98!"

    Now there's a man who will be missed around the retirement home.

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