hot summer day

10 july 2021

I’ve been thinking about Death

I’m seventy and I’ve been to several funerals lately and some old friends have died.

Deborah’s dad died at age 96 from alzheimer’s. I never met him but felt like I was on the Alzheimer’s journey with Deborah. I went to Minnetonka (someone drove me to the funeral. I’m glad I was there for Deborah and kate and I got to see their daughter.

Alix dobkin…famous lesbian activist, writer, musician. She died too. I didn’t know her but heard her many times at the Michigan womyn’s music festival and here in mpls at an OLOC, old lesbians organizing for change conference. Pat worked on that conference. Her music was kind of “folk” music but really important in the lesbian music world.

Ramona, my old and dear friend here in Minneapolis just texted me several days ago. Her former partner, trish, just died. She lived down south, had a stroke and went quickly. When I moved to mpls with my former parter, Bev…trish and ramona were our best friends. They introduced us to all the dykes here. We lived around the corner from them in south minneapolis. Now, trish is gone.

Rick cardenas, a long time disabled rights activist died. I was lucky enough to know him. He did amazing work. I used lots of his materials in my classes. He was a social justice activist for EVERY issue. Plus, his sister, joann, was my TA in general college years ago. She was great. I really wanted to see her at rick’s memorial. But I found out that she had died several years ago. Another death. Rick’s memorial was at a city park in st paul. It was hot. I didn’t know anyone there but I went and I’m glad I was there to honor him.

My childhood best friend, Susan, found a wonderful guy when she was in her 40’s, and married him. He died. Had a heart attack. Age 62., They had a unique relationship. she kept her rent controlled apartment in NYC and they had a house in the Catskills where he lived. They talked every day, and she rode the bus to their house maybe twice a month. He cooked and cleaned for her. Now he is gone. I went to their wedding in Vegas and wore a tux. I really liked Vince. He adored Sue. Now she is…a widow. She went to an on-line jewish dating service and is dating a guy and enjoying herself now. I’m happy for her.

Several years ago, I went on line briefly and “joined” a lesbian dating service. I had to pay. All the women I met “on-line” just wanted to have sex. Period. I got off that service. About a week ago, I tried again. I filled out a questionnaire about “me.” But I decided I didn’t want to do that again so I didn’t pay and that’s done.

So all these deaths are hard for someone who is 70. I’m relatively healthy. I function. I’m writing. I see people. I garden. I have many friends. But my memory is bad because I have vascular dementia. If I don’t write everything down, and I mean everything…I forget stuff. I hate it. I’m trying to write this memoir and it scares me to think I might not remember my own
story.

The other thing about dying that I think about…is being alone, without a life partner. I am lonely. Sometimes it’s ok. I’m independent. I’m pretty smart. I move very slowly so I don’t fall. I drive carefully only in daylight and I use google maps. Yeah, I’m so smart. And I’m not afraid to ask for help. And I have many wonderful people in my life who help me regularly.

But at age seventy, I would like to share this time in my life with a partner, and I don’t have one. Where the hell does a 70 year old lesbian find a girlfriend? I don’t do bars. I’ve never done “casual” dating/sex. At becketwood, where I live, there are lesbians, but they are all
coupled.

It is hard thinking about dying alone. Alone without a beloved. I have beloveds in my life, but that is not the same. I want a beloved to care for me in this time…the sunset of my life. Maybe I’ll live another 20 years. Who knows? I don’t want to get morbid so I think I’ll stop now.

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