Friday, June 17, 2011

Life and Death: Good-Bye, Dear Nell


Two years ago I had the good fortune of meeting a very special and unique woman. Her name was “Nell”; she was 87 years old when we met. She was a true inspiration. I want to be her when I grow up! If I hadn’t known her age, I would never have guessed that she was a day over 75, at best. She was full of life and spunk. She would often hold my hand while telling me stories from her past. It seemed that as long as she held my hand, she had a connection to my heart.

She recently lost her husband of 70- ish years; I wonder if she died of a broken heart. I am blessed to have seen her only a few weeks ago. While we were having one of our little chats, I asked her how she was doing. She said that during the day she was alright, but at night she couldn’t sleep because she was a “cuddler” and with Albert gone she didn’t have anyone to cuddle up to; she said that her bed just seemed so big and so empty. She said that Chip and Sheri took such good care of her and how grateful she was to have them.
She showed me the ring that Sheri gave her to wear for Memorial Day; it was a HUGE glittery looking fire burst, like a large firework on the fourth of July. She said that it was so big that she couldn’t believe that she was wearing it, but Sheri wanted her to look nice, so she put it on. Then she said, “Sheri is just so cute, always wanting to take care of me!” She asked me to come out to lunch soon and told me that she would show me how to play Bridge. I wish that I had had that opportunity.

Nell passed away yesterday, quite suddenly. It seems as though she ate a good lunch and then said that she was having trouble breathing, was weak and wanted to go lie down. A few minutes later, while they were deciding to take her to the hospital, she simply stopped breathing; and was gone. No struggle, no wires, no tubes. She was just gone, in her own bed; just like her husband three months ago.

In my opinion, this is the way to go. Simply fall asleep and never wake up. She was at peace and in her own surroundings. My selfish side will miss her terribly; my logical side realizes that she lived a long and wonderful life; we should all be so fortunate. We will definitely be celebrating her life with tears of happiness for her, and tears of sorrow for those of us that remain. She will be sorely missed.

She was an inspiration, someone to aspire to. I will miss seeing her all dolled up in her matching outfits. She was always dressed to the nines with all of the matching accessories. She often took off her scarf and slipped it into my hand, as she walked out the door saying, “Here, this will look pretty on you.” I will miss her wry sense of humor and stories of days gone by, I will miss that little sunbeam and someday hope to have the grace and beauty that Nell had, at 89 years old.

The very last words spoken between us were; “I love you, and come and see me soon.”  I will always remember her looking into my eyes and squeezing my hand. I squeezed her back and gave her a hug; that was just a few weeks ago.

The lesson here, is that you never know when you are going to meet a “Nell”; when and if you have that opportunity, do not pass it up. It will enrich your life.  Don’t waste precious moments trivially. Live your life every day, as if it may be your last. You never know, who is going to walk into your life and touch it a special way. Do not miss the opportunity. Who knows, maybe someday YOU will become some ones’  “Nell.”
Good-bye, dear friend, you will be missed. I am blessed to have known you.

2 comments:

  1. She was a blessing to you Michele, however you must know that -you- were a blessing to her as well... She died that way we all hope to, like you said, no tubes, not even a hospital, just, over. At the end of the day, evaluating our blessings (friends) is a wonderful thing to do... On a "down day" when we feel rather hopeless, it's only because we have not "counted our blessings yet"... You are a blessing - to many many people Michele. <3 xoxo - julia

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is making me cry...for obvious reasons. Rest in peace Nell.

    ReplyDelete

Bricks for the Brave!!