It's been a year since I've written and no real reason for my absenteeism either. I could say I was working too much, or playing too much, or broke all of my fingers in a horrible accident so I couldn't type. Was kidnapped by Gypsy's. But none of it would be true. It's just life. And in a blink of an eye, a year goes by. Whooooooosh
Yesterday at the Horizon House I said my goodbyes to my sweet girl Caroline. I knew she wouldn't be on this earth for much longer. She had what is called the "death rattle" yesterday. It is a sound that occurs when someone is near death and the saliva accumulates in their throat and it becomes harder to swallow. I rubbed her head and her hands and told her to just "let go". And hours later she drifted into an eternal sleep. Here's a teeny bit of what I knew about Caroline.
When she first arrived at Horizon House she lived independently upstairs. She just happened to be Lorraine's neighbor (I wrote about Lorraine's passing last year). One day Lorraine heard distress coming from Carolines apartment and called for help. Caroline had suffered a stroke. One that would allow her to live, but without a voice or her independence. She now had to move downstairs to the "supported living" floors. And was unable to speak. It never really was an issue with us because we never needed to communicate by speaking when Luna and I would visit her. She loved animals and loved to read. I would bring her "Jon Katz" books about his dogs and his experiences with his dogs. She loved our visits and so did Luna and I. Talking was not necessary! But anyone that knows me, knows I love to talk. And I love to learn about people and their life, history etc.... It frustrated Caroline that she couldn't tell me all I wanted to know!! So one day when we arrived in her room for our weekly visit, she was beside herself with excitement. She reached into her walker's front pocket and pulled out about eight 3 x 5 cards with writing on them. She handed them to me. I read them aloud and this is what they said:
"Born April 11th 1918 in New York
Grew up in Hackensack New Jersey
Attended Columbia University
Worked on Wall Street as a Corporate law secretary. And commuted daily from Hackensack
During World War II she worked with the American Red Cross as a volunteer in Alaska & Hawaii
In 1965 she moved to San Diego and lived in a house overlooking the ocean.
Moved to the Grosvenor House in Seattle
Then moved into the Horizon House
Dedicated to loving and caring treatment of animals
Belonged and donated to PETA and the Delta Society"
Loves to read
AND IS A GREAT FRIEND!"
This was all transposed by me just as it was written. Very vague info, and no idea as to who "filled" in the blanks. But grateful for a little piece of Caroline's extraordinary life. Today I remember Caroline, I'm grateful for our friendship, and I honor the life of Caroline Winetraub.
(The picture above is Caroline, myself and Maggie. My dear friend Tim's dog. Tim tagged along one day and took some amazing photo's)
Rest in Peace sweet girl......