I saw S. and M. (cigar in hand) out on an evening stroll sans Topaz, their old dog that dragged its feet. First sighting of them in a month…I suspect Topaz has been put out of her misery which is why I haven’t seen them out on their daily walk. They asked me where I’d been for the last few months, and I said I was waiting for the weather to warm up. “So you’re a fair weather artist,” M. said and they both laughed.

It was also my first sighting of G. and Reggie, her Arabic dog with long wispy ears who drifts alongside her like a black blur, off leash. I asked her why I haven’t seen her all month, and she said she’s been going over every day to listen to a man who is under tremendous strain, taking care of his dying wife. “He loves his wife, and can’t imagine living without her, yet he wants her to die because her health has been failing for so long. I listen to him nonjudgmentally,” she said. [By the way, all the dialog is my best paraphrase…I don’t take notes while I’m knitting except in my mind!]  I have often wondered, who will care for the caregivers? Caregiving is such a difficult job, taking a huge psychic toll.

She also said that spending time with the dying has taken away her fear of death. “We’re just spiritual beings having a physical experience,” she said. “That smacks of Gnosticism,” I said. “How can you play a piano without fingers? I can’t imagine Christen Mattix without a voice and a body.” She admitted maybe she was being too pat. Reggie was busy socializing with Reagan, a greyhound passing by with a young couple. I asked G. to say hi to her husband D. when she got home.


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