It's been a year ago today that Jorge died.  One of my readers, Kris, Baby Likes Cabbage, wrote that she felt like she knew Jorge by the way I wrote about him.  What a wonderful compliment! 


He was a proud man and refused my offer to stay with him when BFriend (his daughter) left town in previous times.  But he would appreciate it if I'd check on him each day.  So I'd take him a plate of dinner every evening and drop it off.  If it was Monday, we'd have a 'Monk Date', and he'd chuckle his way thru it.  If it was Saturday, he'd ask me who I was rooting for in the NASCAR race, and on Monday, he'd ask me how it went.  He rarely ate the dinner, telling me to put it in the fridge.  On Feb 13th, our routine changed.  In his own proud way, he finally admitted he needed help without having to actually ask for it. 

The first week, he went to the doctor, and actually signed himself up for hospice.  Then he seemed to go downhill really fast for a couple of days.  It seemed like ... he was so relieved to know that he wasn't going to be put into a hospital or a nursing home, that maybe he was ready to go?  One nite, he shivered so violently, both of us were afraid.  I turned up the electric blanket, and held on to his hands, and even half layed across the top of him, holding him still, cause he was shaking so badly.  Earlier that day, BFriend and her husband, with CopSon, had been over to install a grab bar in the shower.  The two grand kids came over to, and were in and out the front door, which looks directly into Jorge's bedroom.  I wondered if he got a chill from having the front door opened so much, while they all ran in and out.  Weeks after he died, I happened to listen to something on the news about Terri Shiavio.  A doctor was describing what one can expect when one is starving to death, and one of the symptoms was severe chills right before death!!! 

But after about 5 days, he rallied, and began to eat all of a sudden.  I was damn proud of this day

Later on, I talked to him about dying

Two nights before he died here and here and here.  There is no doubt in my mind that someone/several someones will be there to help us thru our dying and death.  None.  That was the lesson of Jorge, and the gift. 

So here it is, a year later, I realize more than ever what an impact he had on my life.  Not having anything to do after he died put me into one of the worst depressions of my life.  I went from doing something important that impacted my life in profound ways.  Not only that, but it was perfect for me physically, not affecting the MS.  I was "working at home", where I could rest when I needed to, and what little I had to do for Jorge, didn't wear me out.  Doing it made me feel useful again.  And I'm instinctively good with helping people psychologically.  I can get in their heads and they feel I understand, so they talk to me.  He talked to me about each one of his kids specifically.  The only one he didn't talk about was Jucielle, his wife, who'd died 3 years before him, and that was the one place he'd never go with me, when we talked.  But it was okay, cause I understood.  Somehow I knew not to go there, and he appreciated it. 

The old lady in a wheelchair, who lives down the hall from me, whom I've taken to Wal-Mart a couple of times, and I walk her fat little chi-wa-wa... she told me that she preferred me to be the one to help her, cause I was "soothing" to be around, that I made having to deal with the wheelchair easy.  She said that I had a way of making her feel as if she weren't a burden, when that's how she felt with most everybody else.  That I was a good listener. 


When she used the word 'soothing'... I was slammed back to Jorge's last nite.  'Soothing' is the only word that fit for what I did for him.  Others have said the same thing and this time I heard what she was saying, I believed that this might be my calling.  I am soothing to be around.  Wonder if there's much call for Professional Soother? 

SanFranMan (formerly LoverMan) wrote something for his siblings after Jorge died, because one of them had gone batshit, accusing BFriend and I of starving Jorge, and stealing the family legacy heirlooms, and it was his way of calling attention to the gift and lesson that was Jorge, and hoping that the batshit sibling would "get it" too.