His friends have mostly gone before him. That is the downside of living to 98. His dresser mirror is crowded with funeral programs from each missing friend. His wife passed in 1991. He still had his daughter and grandson, son-in-law and me, his granddaughter-in-law. He still counted himself as very fortunate to live on his own. He planned to die in the Santa Cruz home he had shared with his wife and daughter.
Yesterday that is exactly what he did. Kept comfortable with morphine, resting in a hospital bed set up in his living room, Andy drew his last breath at 4:45 in the afternoon. Saturday his grandson visited and thanked him, among other things, for giving him his first computer.
He was preceded in death first of all by his mother, who died of Spanish flu while he was just a toddler. At his 98th birthday party he spoke of her a lot and we all wondered whether he was picturing a reunion. While none of us truly knows if such a thing is possible, it is comforting to imagine her at the head of a line of loved ones, waiting to greet her son and hear all about the life he went on to live without her.