|Niño & Niña 26 February 2023|
On October 1996 I was In P.D. James’s hotel room taking her portrait. She was curious as to the planes outside her window were. Luckily I knew a lot about the De Havilland Beaver thanks to my friend and writer Sean Rossiter.
After the portrait we chatted and I asked her why it was that so many of the crimes and murders in her novels were due to family squabbles and last will testament disagreements. Her answer was simple, “That’s the way it is.”
It is only after my Rosemary’s death on December 9, 2020 that I have begun to understand Baroness James of Holland Park's point of view.
It is obvious now that Rosemary was the Rock of Gibraltar, that kept our family (two daughters and two granddaughters together). Since then, my relationship with all four has been kind of iffy. With Rosemary alive we saw our granddaughters at least once a week. They now seem to have outgrown this grandfather.
As my friends die or die because they ditch their land line or simply our friendships fade, I find myself isolated.
But I have seen the light.
My two cats, Niño and Niña, give me attention and affection. They listen to me talk to them in Spanish and do not seem to object, even when I may rant.
Rosemary is with me when I clean or empty their litter box, add fresh water to their drinking bowls and especially when I take Niño for his walk around the block taking the same route Rosemary did.
And like Rosemary around 7:30 in the evening I loudly say,”Treats, treats!” and they rapidly get on the bed and I feed them, one at a time, just like Rosemary did.
I believe that the cats find me necessary so I do not feel irrelevant. I am useful to them. I have the clear idea that I must stay alive as nobody I know would take care of them.
But at age 80, for the first time in my life, I am wondering who will outlive whom.
What is important to me is that after 78 years of never having lived alone, learning to live alone, while not understood by family, is something that I can learn to do, even with a smile.
I loved Rosemary. I love Niño and Niña.