Mae might have suffered a stroke sometime on Friday. When she was found, she was unresponsive. Pat lay on the floor next to her, holding her hand, and comforting her while waiting for the EMT team to arrive.
A visit to the hospital on Sunday was not reassuring. Mae was still unconscious.
We learned, this morning, that Mae passed away.
This is the eulogy that will appear in our newsletter on Thursday.
May angels lead you into paradise;
upon your arrival, may the martyrs receive you and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem.
May the ranks of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, the poor man, may you have eternal rest.
“How's Bea today?”.
I didn't have to look up to see who was stopping at The Snack Shop. Her voice was easily recognized. Without even asking, I would prop a Mt. Dew on the counter, then wait for her to decide what treat she craved. Lately, she liked those “twisty things”, cheese curls. The day wouldn't be complete without her visit.
Mae was one of the first residents I met when I moved to the Towers. I met her at Bingo, Po-Ke-No, and playing cards late into the evening in the community room. She loved playing a variety of card games. I was her euchre partner for over a year. It was fun watching her, with one good eye, catch our opponents misplay a card. She would give the guilty party a look that would make a clock stand still.
Mae lived for the moment. Rarely did she talk about her life before the Towers. I know she grew up near Bergen and she worked at the Home Dairy many years ago. That tidbit intrigued me. I remember stopping at the Home Dairy for their delicious black and white cookies. I often wondered if Mae worked behind the counter back then. She told us, several times when her opponents would make a scoring mistake, that she got 100% in arithmetic when she was in school. She knew how to add. She made beautiful plastic canvas crafts...I will cherish the plastic canvas tea cup and saucer she gave me.
A group of us had a luncheon for Mae's 95th birthday. We took her to the casino after lunch. I believe she had a good time, but we had to watch the time. Mae would be going out for a birthday supper with her brother-in-law and she didn't want to have him waiting for her to return. So, we got her back in time to go out. In the meantime, we scurried to get the cake and other goodies ready to celebrate her birthday at bingo that evening. I recall that the rest of us took time out for naps to get us through the rest of the day.
She returned from supper, went right into the community room to get ready for bingo. We celebrated her birthday with the bingo players by serving the cake. After bingo, Mae was up to playing cards. She wasn't about to let her day end.
We could all take a lesson from Mae. She seemed to ignore any gossip discussed at the table. I can honestly say I don't recall her ever contributing to those discussions.
Mae, we knew, was failing. She seemed disoriented at times. It was something that concerned all of us who came in contact with her on a daily basis. We know that Mae is in a better place where card games can be eternal. No doubt she has already found her place at a table. She'll be playing with two good eyes, now, so those around the table better beware...two good eyes and 100% in arithmetic put the odds in her favor.
Rest in peace, Mae. You will be missed.