Saturday, April 17, 2010

RIP, Mrs M

I never called her Mrs M actually. For almost a year, I didn't even know her name. I chatted more with her husband and played with her dog. Oh she would pop her head out of the door once in a while to say hi, but we were cordial more than friendly.

So the day she waved to me while sitting in a white plastic lawn chair from her garage, well it was a little odd.

I crossed the road, and she smiled, her expression as much joy as it was relief. Strange that an old lady would just sit in the garage alone, next to their SUV with the door ajar.

It turns out of course, she recently fell, and couldn't walk on her own. She twisted her hips pretty bad, and her back was in quite a bit of pain.

There was no way she could have made it into the house by walking. The best she could muster was exit the truck and into the lawn chair. Mr B went inside to call her son to drive over and help lift her inside, but he lived at least half an hour away. Mr B, a WWII vet who fought in the Pacific and later became a fire platoon chief in Toronto, was now well on in his years, and wasn't strong enough to lift her in by himself.

With my help we got her from the garage to the bottom of their steps. But to get her all the way up, well that was going to take strength.

By then she was already rather frail, how much could she weigh? And that flimsy white plastic chair, no more than a couple of pounds.

I suggested to carry her up, chair and all. They both chuckled nervously at the idea. In their minds, I was the scrawny little Asian kid across the street with the poorly maintained front yard. There was no way I could do it alone.

But I did. From the bottom of the stairs into their front foyer, then switched my grip and carried her into the family room, where the sofa awaited.

She was a trooper. She only whimpered slightly the whole time. She had warned me that if her back hurt, she would scream bloody murder. But she didn't.

And that was that. Last summer, after the wedding.

I visited them a couple of times, bringing cookies during Christmas, and before that, met her best friend visiting from St. Catherines. She didn't come out of the house much really.

Both the Woman and I would say, "Hey, let's bring our wedding DVD to their house and showed them what they missed." But we never did, always thinking next weekend would be better.

We didn't know she was getting worse.

I saw Mr B maybe 2 weeks ago, and he informed me that Mrs M was in the hospital. During the night, she kept saying she couldn't catch her breath. It had actually been going on for a while, but they finally took her to the hospital.

At first they thought her lungs collapsed, from being bedridden you see, but it was her heart. Just worn out I guess.

Once the heart started to go, then the liver failed. And well, last Monday she passed.

She never did get to see our wedding video.

I miss you Mrs M. I adored you, and loved hearing your stories about our family from when we first moved in across the street so many years ago. I miss seeing your big kind smile when we showed you the cookies we made. I miss seeing the sparkle in Mr B's eyes when he mentioned your name. Gone now, I'm afraid.

Rest in Peace, Mrs M. I hope you're sitting with our Lord, watching a bit of telly.


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