|Rosa 'Darcey Bussell' 17 August 2022|
La esperanza le pertenece a la vida, es la vida misma defendiéndose. Julio Cortázar – Rayuela
Life owns hope; it is life itself defending itself.
When I saw this sequence in the English Rose, Rosa ‘Darcy Bussell’ I instantly thought of a lifespan. Somehow Google translates lifespan into esperanza de la vida in Spanish. This translation is much more poetic and ever romantic as it translates to “hope in life”.
My friend Abraham Rogatnick (27 November 1923 - 28 August 2009) was 86 when he died. A year before, he gave me a lovely almost lifesize Mexican papier-mâché skeleton that I named Pancho. He told me he was not going to need it as he was going to die. He was pulling the plug on his prostate cancer treatment.
|Rebecca & Lauren with Pancho|
But he told me something that has stayed with me and somehow it comes to mind every day now. He said, “I am not long for this world and I am glad for it.”
After having lived with Rosemary a shared life for 52 years and since she died on December 9 2020 I have discovered few important reasons for wanting to stay alive. If I die today there is enough money in the bank that my two daughters will not have to worry about financial matters ever. Thus dying would take me away from my present existential angst and everybody would be just fine.
But there is something that keeps me going every day. It is not writing this blog or scanning (a present obsession) my garden plants. It is not eating as I have been losing my taste so I make the motions of eating but I do enjoy my hot Mexican food.
If I were to die today there would be nobody to take care of my Niño and Niña. Hilary has an aggressive cat in her home in Burnaby and Ale has three cats in Lillooet and I would doubt that Niña would adapt. The idea that my daughters might return Niño and Niña to the SPCA breaks my heart.
And so I wonder what Abraham Rogatnick would have told me had he owned a pair of loving, clingy, brother and sister cats.
My friend, Andy Marlow, head of the Minneapolis Hosta Society came to Vancouver last week with his wife and daughter Emily. Emily enjoyed my two cats and I asked her if she had any. Her answer was profound, “I don’t want cats because they die.”