I fell hard for Sgniezska and Eddy, two years ago, when our eyes locked on the street. I followed them home, tail wagging, to meet Eddy’s mighty wife Junya, and down glass-after-glass of tea. They rang my heart like a bell.
Their tiny kitchen cooked with stories of their big lives. All I had to do was ask. I threw every question in the book at them, and as Sgniezska licked our ankles and pissed on the floor, they answered every one.
Eddy spoke slow, slow, slowly in his breaded, Polish accent, learning to form words again after a second, massive stroke, grateful to be alive and in love. Junya had her own accent, a bone-dry sense of humor, asthma and a throaty voice. Love, loss, sadness and joy slow-danced in the sunlight of their kitchen, in the twilight of their lives; every photograph, every memory; a glittering star.
Sgniezka was the first to go, the only one of the three not to scale the peak and valley of old age. Despite Eddy’s medical condition, it was his beloved wife who went next, gasping for life in the hospital. While he prayed at home, please please god, Junya took her last breath.
Eddy laughs to please me. I marvel at his kindness and life force; he lifts my fingers to his trembling lips and kisses my hand. At the age of 92, he swallows a pharmacy of pills, has Parkinson’s, a pacemaker, high blood pressure and a permanently damaged brain. I wonder about the quality of his life and how he survives. I recall Junya’s words when I asked her about the most amazing quality of her man?
He keeps moving forward, she said.
Eddy spends his life in bed now. He sleeps most of the time, prays, and can’t remember his dreams. His loving children surround him, but still, all he wants to know, he asks god and tells me, is, when am I going home?
Dear, sweet Eddy. How grateful I am to know you. With the god of your beautiful heart, I wish you a peaceful ride.
For the final story about Eddy, please click here.
All my wagging tales about Eddy, in order. I hope you enjoy them and share the love:
Old photos, courtesy of Eddy and Junya. Photos of Sgniezska, Eddy and Junya, by me. Featured photo: Photo Art by Brenda Keesal and Sara Lomas.
GOOD NEWS FLASH: In the market for a more peaceful life and death? Some advice from the Dalai Lama, from the forward to ‘The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.’
“Naturally, most of us would like to die a peaceful death, but it is also clear that we cannot hope to die peacefully if our lives have been full of violence, or if our minds have mostly been agitated by emotions like anger, attachment, or fear. So if we wish to die well, we must learn how to live well: Hoping for a peaceful death, we must cultivate peace in our mind and in our way of life. “
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