A very good friend died this past week and because of a warning light on my car and possible overheating problems, I can't go to pay my respects and say goodbye so please bear with me while I take this time to pay my respects.
She was a neighbor in Woodhaven for all the time I lived there and I knew her, liked her and spoke with her. She was very fond of all the children on the block and would support the various school fundraisings. She was what my mother-in-law called a "maiden lady", she lived with and took care of her parents.
But it wasn't until I was out of work about 12 years ago that we really became friends. One year we had a blizzard and for weeks after I would not drive, but I would see Grace driving to her various activities even though there was still a lot of snow on the roads and no where to park.
I would often go over to her house for tea in the afternoon while I was home and when I went back to work, Sunday became our day for tea. We would discuss anything and everything. I would give her the NY TIMES BOOK REVIEW every week and she would remind me whenever a favorite author had a new book. After I finished reading a book I would give it to Grace. Sometimes when I would visit I would get a history lesson often on the royal families of the world, but particularly on the English.
One year I had wanted to visit my son on his birthday, but made my decision too late to get a decent fare. On the day of his birthday, Grace called to tell me she wasn't feeling well and needed help. I went over to her house, called an ambulance and went to the hospital with her for treatment of her heart attack. Even though she was having a heart attack, she was quick witted. When she was being treated by the paramedics, she quipped that she had never before had so many men in her bedroom. She also didn't want to tell her age, because a lady never divulges her age.
She was very active in the Eastern Star and I went to many luncheons with her and met all her friends. Wherever she went everyone was glad to see her. Even when she was in a nursing home recently, her social worker said that she was such a pleasure to work with. Her nurse also said she was a wonderful patient.
In recent years, because of back problems she was pretty much confined to her bed, but that didn't stop her from reading and opining on the state of the world.
I will miss her, my reading buddy, but I know that she is no longer in pain. By the way she was 89 years old and proud of it.