In 2011 and 2012 I wrote a series of articles on elder and guardianship abuse. A friend of mine, Diane Wilson, was going through a terrible time trying to protect her mother from our judicial system. This is one of a series of articles
by Jim Fargiano
October 26, 2011
Death is simply the portal to new beginnings and peace for the person who leaves this planet with grace. It is a time to heal; a time for those left behind to be able to review and reflect on their life with the departed. Dorothy has passed into spirit; a place where she will be free of pain, fear, anger, frustration and all of what was troubling her. She has been welcomed by her loving husband and those who have gone before her; greeted with open arms and a love that cannot be understood by most of us here.
I personally met Dorothy a few years ago. She was a very happy woman; always with a smile when she was with Diane. There was never a doubt about how much she loved her. While I cannot speak for the relationships with her other children, there was a true sense of emotion whenever she discussed them.
Dorothy loved going out. Her eyes would beam when Diane would mention going to a movie, dinner, or even getting a manicure. She would speak of her love of the slot machines at the casinos, with the Borgata being her favorite. She was always warm and loving whenever I was in her presence. Those visits usually involved a cup of tea or some sort of chips or munchies. It was the little things in life that pleased her.
Today is a time to reflect on the beauty that Dorothy brought to all of us. She provided a spark of life for most people. Likewise, it would be hard to discard the pain she was feeling, nor the fear that she had that she would end up in a place not of her choosing. Even with all of those concerns, when I last spoke to her, all she discussed were her optimistic views that she would be going home soon. Dorothy’s only wish was to go back to her house that she loved for sixty years, or to live with her daughter. She was excited to see the new bathroom that Diane installed for her and made many remarks to me about how she always felt home there too.
While she may not have been perfect, her demeanor and approach towards handling her advanced age with dignity certainly was. It was important to her that she live with pride; something that she managed to have no matter what. She held onto it while caught up in a legal situation that nobody should ever have to endure; especially in their final time on earth. I was impressed by her resiliency. It was there despite how tired she was of the situations making her ill. Dorothy looked forward to what she saw and hoped would be her newfound freedom. Yes, there was a bit of sarcasm to Dorothy, but she had no problem making her thoughts about what she needed known. Sometimes, it was even punctuated by a little profanity.
Dorothy loved her grandchildren and spoke glowingly of her great grandchildren. To say she was proud that they were part of her family would be an understatement. They were a topic of conversation many of the times I visited with her at Diane’s home. When I spoke with her at the nursing home a couple of weeks ago, she made sure she mentioned them. She lit up when she talked about her beautiful granddaughter, Megan. The love that would well up in her eyes when she would look at pictures of Tara’s little ones cannot be expressed.
Her heart was open to everyone who treated her kindly, including Joann and Lisa whom she looked at as daughters too. Dorothy seemed to have friends everyplace. She loved to shop with anyone who would take her, and for those of you who knew her well, her appreciation of coupons was also evident. Dorothy was well loved, which is obvious by the outpouring here and the dozens of caring comments made by others.
The last time I was with her, I couldn’t help but laugh when she told me she wanted a bottle of wine to celebrate with and have a party when she got out of the nursing home. It was small comfort for her, yet it gave Dorothy a reason to be able to look forward to what was ahead. She only wanted to be happy.
Happiness is what her soul now has. She no longer has to fight a physical body that was breaking down, nor the annoyances of feeling like her requests were being ignored. Dorothy had a vibrancy to her that transcended everything. While she exuded love to most who knew her, she has now taken that love to look down upon us from her place in heaven. It will be given to all who deserve it. She tried to live her life to the fullest and did not want the fact that age should keep her from enjoying herself. May Dorothy bathe in the love that she deserves, and may her wine taste as beautiful as her soul is.