Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How Quickly Things Change!

Al and Rita (bottom row) at granddaughter's graduation
It is with sadness that I report the death of my friend Rita.  Al called day before yesterday to let me know.  I had just said to my mother on the phone the day before that I planned to stop by Rita's on Tuesday before going to Living Liberally.  Little did I know that it would be much too late.  It appears that she suffered another stroke during the night, fell off the bed and struck her head.  She never recovered.  Al said she had been progressing well, recovering her words and putting her thoughts together better, then this just happened so suddenly.

The photo to the left was taken when they were in Chicago at the same time as Jan and I. Rita had a wonderful smile, which you can see here, and from day one we found it easy to both talk to and confide in each other.  She was a trained therapist and I always told her that a few hours with her was like a therapy session!  And I really think she felt the same way.  Her obituary said, "You could ask for no better friend than Rita.  If you were lucky enough to be one, you were lucky indeed."  I can vouch for that!  She will be missed.

Things have been pretty quiet.  I've been trying to get a few things done and enjoy my free time before my mother comes for the winter.  I'll be going to NC on Sunday, hoping to return with her on Monday or Tuesday.   However, there are a few problems - lost hearing aid, chipped tooth, etc. - so who knows.  Since Thanksgiving will be very low-key, it shouldn't take us long to get it all together once we get back here.
Our weather continues to be absolutely beautiful, making my walks even more enjoyable.  Now I have much more flexibility as to when I can take them and I've begun to vary the routes, as doing two laps of the circle was becoming boring.  
I did have a very nice surprise, a call from the rabbi, my former boss who now lives in Illinois.  We email but I hadn't spoken to him by phone in a long time, so it was nice to catch up.  
It seems that I've been on an eating-out binge lately, but that's usually the way it goes.... feast or famine.  Not long ago I had dinner with Leigh, from the office at the synagogue.  On Monday I went to the Crescent ladies'  "lunch bunch" holiday luncheon.  It was held at Belfair Club House, which was very nice.  It isn't the type of thing I'd normally go to, but I was invited to go with a lady I've met on my walks (the one with the cute little dog that determines the route and pace of their walk!!).  I knew anyone who was that caring to her pooch couldn't be all bad!!   We had a good time but I think it was mostly because we went with someone with whom we felt comfortable.
Last night I went to Living Liberally with Pamela (we met up there), a lady I met at the rally.  She was one of three of us who would have been traveling on our own had we not met up with the ladies from Sun City.  We seem to have quite a bit in common and she's very down to earth; but, unfortunately she's planning to move back to California in January. Even so, I'm sure we'll do a few things together before she goes......and she did enjoy the LL group so I hope she'll continue to join us.
Am off this afternoon to a gathering for Rita at their home.  I don't think it's actually "shiva" as she wasn't much of a religious person and Al said it would be very informal, "maybe with a few prayers or something......Rita wasn't much into that kind of thing."  It's not an event one looks forward to, but I do want to pay my respects.