Yesterday a group of my good friends of several years and I attended the memorial service for a dearly beloved member of that particular circle of friends. Members of the group often referred to her as “Mama Lois” as she was, not only he oldest living member of the group, but the wisest.
For the last three years, Mama Lois lived in a senior community where she enjoyed the privacy of her own apartment, the comfort of her favorite cat, the devotion of a responsible son and the dedication of a group of long-time friends. The facility provided Mama with physical nourishment (food), spiritual and mental growth, a space to create (Mama was an artist) and medical care. Her family and friends managed to drive her to such things as entertainment (she loved the HD operas from the Met, classical music concerts and local film festivals) and dinner at favorite restaurants.
All of the above, helped Mama put on a good face. Until the last month of her life, Mama told entertaining tales of her impetuous youth and of the left-wing politics of her career days. Underneath it all was quiet sadness as her beautiful daughter slowly sank into the later stages of Alzheimer’s, In answer to her prayers, Mama left this world before her favorite cat and her beautiful daughter.
Last evening, the group of friends with whom she dined as many Friday nights as possible, raised a glass in honor of the passing of its former oldest member. Much to my amazement, I am now the oldest member of the group! I only hope that when I leave this world, I leave a legacy equal to that of my predecessor. While you sleep in peace, Mama, let me find and share your catch of wisdom.