So said the Wicked Witch to Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.
This was always the most terrifying part of the movie and, even as a young child, I got it.
Dorothy’s impending death wasn’t as horrifying to her as the thought of watching the death of her friends. That would be the real torture.
|Deb's gorgeous parents|
My own pain around Stan’s death was deep enough, but it was watching Mom and Dad that really broke my heart.
Stan was 89, looked 70, and was projected to outlive us all. He was a true gentleman in the truest sense of the word. A kind, warm, engaging, spirited thoughtful man who never had a bad word to say about anyone. He looked like Dean Martin and stood a handsome 6’4”.
When I posted his death on Facebook, I said, “Stan George, 1922 to 2011, and yet not long enough.”
I know it sounds odd to be shocked at the death of an 89-year-old man, but we were. Because Stan had found the secret to life and the evidence of it showed in his every gesture.
My parents loved this man so much. Even the mention of Stan could bring a smile to their faces. They would light up, just at the thought of seeing him. He never disappointed either. It’s not easy to live up to your hype as any actor knows, but Stan surpassed his.
And now he’s gone. They are all gone, that old gang of my parents. And Mom and Dad are alone. They of course have their family, close and extended, all of whom they love and every one they are grateful for.
But the gang is gone.
A while back Dad said they were thinking of having some friends in for a wine and cheese evening. Dad was having a good week physically and they thought it would be fun to host a small gathering. Suddenly they looked at each other, saw the irony, and started to laugh. Not certainly at the fact that there was no one left to invite, but at the fact that this had somehow caught them by surprise.
Can you imagine this? A time of your life when your friends are gone. All gone? I would not even try as the thought is unbearable.
But there my parents sit, engulfed in memories of skating parties and New Years parties and swimming parties and precious phone calls filled with laughter.
I remember each and every one of their old gang. They are right there in my mind’s eye as I watch from my pajama-ed perch on the stairs, my Mom and Dad and their group of dear friends, dressed to the nines, laughing and dancing the night away in the unfinished basement in our home.
Barbara: Oh, Deb, I’m so sorry for your loss and that of your parents. It’s amazing how powerful those memories are, those of our parents reveling and enjoying their dear friends. Why do all children gravitate toward that energy like moths to flame? Is there one among us who doesn’t remember some form of late night eavesdropping, listening intently to gales of laughter and clinking of glasses, quintessential music counterpointing every beat and rhythm of their celebration?
I am loathe indeed to contemplate all my friends being gone one day. Thanks god for these glorious days. I do not take them for granted!!
Love to all, xo