Life’s a strange roller-coaster ride. Last week I wrote a feel-sorry-for-myself post which I subsequently deleted. I’ve done pretty well out of life, I’m healthy (if a tad overweight), I’m well educated, had a good job, can turn my hand to most things. Now I’m retired, I’m comfortably well off if not rich, and I have a lovely husband.
This morning it was brought home to me in bold letters, underlined, how very fortunate I am. I received news that one of my nieces passed away suddenly, aged just fifty-seven.
I won’t pretend I was close to her. My family isn’t, wasn’t, like that, even when we lived in the same city and it’s many years since I moved away. But we kept in touch on Facebook, spoke a few times on the phone. I knew she was ill, but she has never been a particularly healthy person and I, like her own immediate family, expected she’d recover and soldier on as she always had.
But she didn’t.
My memory of her has always been of a very caring woman. She taught primary school and I’m sure she did that very well. It suited her big-hearted personality. She always had time for others. When my sister Ann, their mother, was diagnosed with cancer, she and her sister nursed her for several years as Ann declined and finally died, also in her mid-fifties. After that she and her sister, who was always her closest friend, would take their grandma (my mother) shopping to the Dutch Butcher. Later they took on looking after my brother’s welfare, taking him shopping, seeing he attended medical appointments and the like. Recently their father had a stroke but his daughters were there for him.
Life wasn’t always easy for Adriana. The last year was difficult for her in many ways. Perhaps stress contributed to her death.
All I can say is I’m saddened by her passing.
Not too many of my family reach sixty it seems. One brother (I’ll not count the one who died in infancy), two sisters and my father died in their fifties. Life is short. Make what you can of it, because – in my opinion – you only get one go at it and you’ll never know when the curtain will come down for ever.
Rest in peace, Adriana.