Easy to say “age with class” when you’re healthy, but how about when you’re not?
Eve, a dear friend, passed away last June 30 at 1:30 p.m. — on John and her 12th wedding anniversary, at the very hour they were married 12 years previous, around the time she had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. We were neighbors in Jersey, in a suburb of NYC, back then. She was taking care of her mother, who was ill and living with her, while working as a nurse in a local hospital.
Around that time, she got a Jack Russell puppy when I got my own pug puppy. The two of them thrived on romping around together and splashing in a plastic kiddie pool outside until they matured and went their separate ways.
That September 11, 2001, I couldn’t get to work because public transportation had closed down. I made it back home after getting as far as the George Washington Bridge and spent the day at her house since I was living alone. We watched television together in horror as the events of 9/11 unfolded.
One summer, after her diagnosis, Eve and I spent the day at Jones Beach, jumping and screaming in delight as the waves pulled us around and tossed us back onto the shore. Even as middle-aged women, we behaved like kids that day.
Eventually, she had to quit work and underwent stem cell treatment, which just about killed her. But, she survived. She went through chemotherapy on and off since then.
After a few years, Eve and John moved to New York, and I moved back to Massachusetts. The last time I saw her, we met at a restaurant in New Rochelle for lunch a year ago during the summer. We talked about going to Jones Beach again and about her and John visiting us in October.
We set a date for their visit, but at the last minute, she had to go in for more chemo and was too tired to come. We were hoping for October of this year.
I’ll always remember Eve as a stellar individual. Kind. Strong. Thoughtful. Caring. And never complaining. As sick as she was, she visited and took care of her grand-children quite often. Last I heard, she was painting her front porch.
I love you, Eve.