My friend Jorge is gone. I found out today when I saw a woman doing yard work at his house. The yard that Jorge spent so many hours working on. He liked to keep busy he would say. I had this sinking feeling inside that something was amiss and I asked the lady about him. “He’s dead” She told me in English. Two weeks ago, when I was in Canada. His heart.
It was not that long ago I told Dale one evening that I didn`t think Jorge would be around much longer. I had gone for my walk and Jorge was leaning against the old broken down car outside his home like he so often did. He asked me not to leave and to stay with him for a bit because he didn`t feel so good. He was seeing double. He told me his Dr had went and changed his medication and he was not responding well to it. He asked me to go into his house and get his daughter Gisselle, whom I had never met . I opened his gate which was unlocked thankfully . When I knocked on the front door of his house his daughter came running out..”Pappy!!” . She knew something was wrong. I guess why else would someone be knocking on her door…?
She is a tiny young lady…probably in her twenties. I know from all my chats with him that she is either a Dr. or she is studying to be one. She had asked me to go into the house and get him a glass of orange juice or coke.Then somehow between the two of us, we managed to carry him into the house and get him sitting in a chair. Not before he said some crazy things to me. Slurring his words. I still remember the silly look on his face when he pointed right at me and said..” I know you! You’re my friend!” He said other bizarre things to me like..”Who are you?” and then the funniest thing, “I don’t feel like talking anymore. Ok? Goodbye!” Then he waved. He asked me about his daughter, wondering who I thought she looked like…I had no clue because I had never met her mom.
I remember seeing him the next day , puttering away in his garden like he so often liked to do. He thanked me so much for helping him. He told me that God put me there at the right time and he didn’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t walked by when I did..And I should note on that particular day, Abby did not want to go for a walk, so I had gone without her. If I had Abby no way could I have helped carry a heavy man into the house. So I have to agree that it was a God thing. He told me that he was fine now and it was his new medication that caused the confusion and his blood sugar to drop.
Sometimes a few days would pass and I would not see him. I am guessing that we just must have missed each other. He would say things like “I haven’t seen you in a while. I was worried that maybe you were sick or something. Are you ok?”
One night after dinner, Dale and I went our nightly walk and Jorge and his neighbour across the street were standing outside his gate, both of them all dressed up and headed to church.
Recently he told me how one time in his younger years he lived in Holton Maine and how he and his friends would cross the border into Woodstock NB and how much he loved the covered bridges there. And what a small world that is, as my inlaws lived in that very town for many years. Even Dale lived there for a short while.
I remember when his little dog died. Initially he told me that the dog had gone to live with another family. But then later he admitted to me that he had lied about that and that his dog had got into something one night, some kind of poison and died. There was nothing he could do. He told me how in the middle of the night when no one would see him he carried his small dog to an area of dirt in the colonia and buried his dog. He told me of how he wanted another dog one day..the same breed.. A dashhound. He never got another dog.
Seeing Jorge and talking with him became a normal part of my life. I have so enjoyed getting to know him over the last couple years or so and hearing about all his adventures of his life well lived.. My heart is heavy. I will miss him. Never again will I have another conversation with Jorge. My 90 year old friend.
Below is the link to my post on Jorge back in April..