“You think I should try for 200?”
“It would be a great party.”
“I don’t think they’d let me eat my cake, dear.”
True enough. But still. I had you for almost 40 years. I had gotten used to the idea of not having to give you up. Selfish, I know. I still find myself wondering, why now?
Ahh… Louisa Whitten, you are a clever woman. You made your mark in history. Of course you’d give your final bow (to a standing ovation in my opinion) during Women’s History Month. You are women’s history.
Eight weeks at the original Doylestown Hospital on Pine and Oakland in 1934. Gave birth to mom on April 6, 1943 at the Belmont Avenue location. First patient at the new ER on April 6, 2010. Voted in every single election (including 2012) and sternly reprimanded anyone who did not exercise that hard-won right. Worked for the original Mr. Merck. Legal Secretary at Eastburn & Gray. Artist. Musician. Mother. Grandmother. Great Grandmother. Sister. Daughter. Wife. Widow. Friend. I sang your praises last July when I wrote about your Courageous Aging. I could go on for days to anyone willing to listening (and I probably will). You comforted me at night when I had nightmares, you assured me that a little bit of ice cream is important, and you made me believe I could do anything I set mind to and do it well. Frankly, you taught me I should do good, be just, and care for others. I promise, I’m trying.
And you were one of the funniest women I knew.
While I never wanted you to leave, I know it was your time. Thank you for the gift of saying goodbye. I promise to honor you and make you proud. Who am I to deny you a reunion with your mother over a cup of really strong, truly Swedish coffee and a bowl of caramel custard? You can go. I’ll take it from here.
Please just stop by every so often, rest your gentle hand on my cheek, and whisper “You always cheer me up. I love you, dear.”
And I love you.
Ifeoma U. Aduba