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Sunday, June 11, 2017

OLYMPIA


She always dreaded being called Olympia, her given name since she was a little girl, yet everyone who knew her called her Olympia from the day my Dad died and she started a joy-filled life of volunteering for Brookhaven Memoria Hospital.

Helping others became her life's work or passion. She applied her many skills charitably towards the hospital in raising money and having a life in her community. She made friends, many who went out of their way to help her, who deemed it necessary to help a little old lady give of herself.

Sometimes her children would have difficulty booking time with her as her social life expanded. Many a lunch offered by me was turned down because she had made other commitments.

Then one day the ordinary results of living for 96 years took hold, she started the final process of life-death. As she slowly started to break down physically, she continued to uphold her spirits, basking in a visit from a child time to time and silently realizing the time, her time, was up. She didn't protest. As she slowly deteriorated, her life now restricted to her bed requested that she have a TV in her room so she could hear her daily Mass, it was very important to her. Under the objections of many who felt the TV couldn't be put in that room for reasons, I don't understand, my wife and I put the TV in, got a box for it, and installed it one Sunday morning. We also, to ensure continuity from the hospice lady who lived with her, put a TV in the living room, once again requiring a new box. It was her money, and why shouldn't she spend it on herself? She was still alive and when the money was all gone, we would apply for Medicaid to help her in her final hours.

As the days came to an end, I did all I could to make her comfortable, executing my job that was given to me as Power of Attorney to master her finances and have it all ready to hand over to an executrix of her estate.

In that final hour, while she was still somewhat conscious, I sat next to her and leaned into her ear and told her I loved her, and although she did not respond, I knew I had done what I should have done all my life, I told her and demonstrated that love.

Today she is gone three years, yet she is with me stronger than ever, she goes everywhere I go, and often I think of how happy she is knowing she no longer suffers from the ugliness and injustice of the world.

As I stood at the entrance of her house that day, as she was leaving for the last time from her beloved home, I felt the finality of what happens in life, as we pass, we leave all and the things we held dear behind.

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