Growing older also means one's friends and acquaintances tend to be older and that, inevitably and awfully, means some will die. I have been lucky, in a way, not to be near a lot of contemporaries, such as those I went to high school and college with, and that a great many of my friends are younger than I am. [I also think I am younger than I am.] The Christmas letters brought news of a dear college friend who died last year. And several of my small high school class are gone -- mostly it's the men; which is statistically likely but nevertheless a sad thing.
When I moved to Cape Cod my daughter very quickly took me to a poetry reading with students and teachers at the school where she works. I met a beautiful woman, a poet, English teacher, administrator there who read a poem and who mentioned wanting to start a poetry group. I and my daughter and her husband were quick to say yes, we'd like a poetry group too. So a few other people were found and we met every couple of weeks for a brief while -- until the rug was pulled out from under us when this lovely woman was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreative cancer in October. She died last week and a lovely memorial service was held yesterday. Many, many ex-students and others who knew her were there. And for the first time I had to stop and think about how quickly life can disappear and that, as I know but wish I didn't, the stroke of the scythe doesn't discriminate between those who are living rich, full, beautiful lives and others who are less vibrant and seem to have slowed and be more ready. And I read in the memorial pamphlet that she was just my age, though I thought she was younger.
And, yes, I think some are ready. The last member of the generation before me, my mother's youngest sister died this fall. She was a vibrant woman too always full of laughter and enjoyment. But she had suffered from congestive heart failure for many years, and then macular degeneration that robbed her of much enjoyment. She was tired, she had seen several great-grandchildren arrive [whom she did expect to live to see], but I think she was ready.
My briefly known friend enjoyed gardening. Mmany pots of flowers were in the sanctuary and people were encouraged to take a pot home. My daughter, who knew her well, has a pot of primroses, thus the primroses in the blog. Perhaps eventually I'll find a poem to write, I feel mute today.
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