I have a neighbor who's 85 1/2 and is ready to die. He says he is, but when he had a mini stroke in front of me two or three weeks ago it was pretty obvious his body wasn't quite in agreement. Two hours later, after he had a shot of whiskey and I had a beer, I was able to talk him into a hospital visit. He's stubborn to say the least.
I've never really been super close to anyone that old before. I've had clients his age, and have always enjoyed the conversations. It's got to be odd for him knowing that every day he wakes up he's pissed he's still alive and he spends the remainder of the day wondering how and when it will all end. We've had some pretty intense conversations about life and death, many over gin so the details are a little fuzzy. He told me all about his experiences in WWII, his family and his adventures. He asked me point blank if I thought he'd see he's deceased wife when he died. I promised on Z's life that he'd see her again if he wanted to. He doens't seem to believe me.
Z and Mr. Tib have a pretty interesting friendship as well. This summer Z would ride his bike down to visit him, which was a big deal because he rode about 500' down the dirt road and continued down Mr. Tib's long driveway solo. What an adventure for a five and a half year old!. Which ended the afternoon Zach took his two little buddies to meet Mr. Tib and they raided and ate every last piece of candy he had. I made him take money out of his piggy bank and buy a huge bag to replace it. He knew what he had done was wrong, and after much discussion he agreet to write an apology as long as he could bring it back to Mr. Tib's all alone. I said alright but I included a note that told Mr. Tib NOT to offer him any candy from the apology offering. I stood in my yard and listened as Zach screamed that he was sorry for what he did. Mr. Tib's mostly deaf so conversing with him requires healthy lungs and patience. Good news is I always know whats being said even if I'm down the road!
I hope for his sake he gets to go soon, and easily, and peacefully. And I hope that he knows how much he's impacted my and Z's life on this quiet dirt road we live on. I hope that I can help him make this transition easier, which I've been trying to do but feel sort of lost because this is all new to me. I've been lucky enough to never have to watch someone die. I was young when my granmothers died and my mom was gone before I knew anything was wrong. I'm grateful for that. So tomorrow I'll go back down and check on Mr. Tib after I take Z to school. I do believe I'm learning a lesson, and so is he. Just in case all this stuff I talk about regarding death and the other side is true, I asked him to send me large bills from heaven instead of pennies. Why mess around, right?