Last week he lost his dear wife of 60 years!
I had visited him during Shiva (the Jewish period of mourning) to wish him our best and let him know we are there if there is anything he needs.
He told me how the night before she passed, they had gone out to eat and to the theatre (she loved the theatre)...and everything was fine!
And then the next day, he went to work--he still teaches medicine at the local hospital 2 days a month.
At midday, he called his wife and asked how she was and if she needed anything from the store (to eat etc.)
She told him she was fine and she didn't need anything.
But by the time he got home just one hour later...she had fallen, hit her head, and died.
He tried to do CPR by it was no use, she was gone.
Both he and his wife were 84-years old.
He mentioned that would tease her that he was 3 months older than her, and so she had to listen to him!
I felt so bad for him...it was obvious how much he loved her and missed her already.
When he told me how old she was, I tried to say reassuringly:
"That's a good old age...at least she lived a full life!"
But then he answered:
"84--that's nothing! 85 is the new 65!!!"And went on to tell me how many of their friends are already in the 90's.
It's funny how no matter what age you are...there is always a will to live!
He said how she had passed quickly and so maybe he could consider that a blessing.
And we talked about how it truly is especially when some other people really suffer prolonged periods with terrible debilitating and painful illnesses.
It was also strange that around the same time, I ran into yet another elderly neighbor, and he had tears in his eyes...and I asked how he is.
He told me how he just learned 3 weeks ago that his wife has lung cancer.
Seeing his expression how bad things were, I inquired what stage it was at.
He said, "stage 3 cancer," and I told him as well how sorry I was for his pain.
All this made me realize again, how very tenuous life is...and we all hang by a thread that G-d decides at any moment when to shear and when to cut--we need to live every moment to the fullest and as if it's our last. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)