This is the second of three posts which chronicle Marlene’s
final journey home. Part One, which introduces this series, is here.
April 9th, 2018
I checked in with Ron and Marlene yesterday evening. Much to my amazement, Marlene was her feisty, smiley old self. She was lying on her stomach instead of her back. As soon as I walked in, she asked me about Ron’s taxes. She’s done his taxes for years and, knowing that tax time is close, she was concerned. I told her that all the financial info she had stashed in Ron’s red folder had been delivered to a tax person in Roanoke.
She grabbed my hand and gave it a tight squeeze. “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
Then she talked about the cards and letters she’d been receiving. She couldn’t understand why so many people were suddenly writing to her. I saw an unopened envelope lying on the bed.“Do you want to see who sent this one?” I asked. “Sure.”
It was a long letter from Jess, whose family lived at Light Morning many years ago. Marlene has remained close to them, so I read the letter aloud. Marlene listened attentively to the news about each of the family members and each of the family’s cats.
Later, Marlene said she wanted to have a chiropractor in Blacksburg fix her back. Ron paused for a moment before answering. Then he gently reminded her about the childhood injury to her back, the progressive osteoarthritis in her spine, and the cancer.
“No one can fix those things for you,” he continued. “You’re just going to have to learn to live with it.”
There was a brief silence as Marlene tried to take this in.
“Well, I’ve had seventy-seven years,” she said.
“Seventy-seven beautiful years,” Ron replied.
Marlene gave him a delighted smile. Then she reached up to where Ron was standing beside the bed, grabbed the sides of his face with her hands, and pulled him down to give him a kiss. A second and third kiss quickly followed.Continue reading Letting Nature Take Its Course: 2