Not any bottle–the bottle Bruce and I sent our friend Pam the week before she died. We found out that K.R. Rombauer of Rombauer Vineyards was doing a wine tasting in Omaha on March 29th. Rombauer was one of the vineyards we visited during our Napa visit with Pam in October. She picked it out, and it was one of our favorites.
We decided it would be great to get him to sign a bottle for her, and he did. He was gracious and wonderful.
We had spent the first weekend of March with Pam and knew we didn’t have time to spare. The wine tasting was on Thursday night and Bruce overnighted the bottle on Friday. When Pam got it on Saturday, she sent the following text (I can’t bring myself to delete her texts just yet):
“I GOT . . . I GOT IT!!!!!!!! In luuuuvvvvvv pitter patter: Thanku so very much friends!!!!!!!”
She displayed it on her fireplace mantel. On Sunday, April 1, she went into the hospital. She remained there until Thursday, April 5th. After spending the night at home and having in-home hospice care stop by, she decided to go into hospice on Friday, April 6th. She died on Monday, April 9th.
We drank the wine with Pam’s parents last month when they spent the weekend with us in Omaha, and toasted her. I think we’re up to toast 12,000-something by now.
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what a close call that was. We wanted so badly to give her one last bit of joy from that trip, and we were so lucky it got to her in time.
I’m not sure why I felt compelled to write this. If it has a point, I guess it’s that if you have a chance to do something for someone you care about, do it. Even if their life is approaching its end, don’t give up on them. Their capacity for joy may be the last thing to go.
And if they’re not “officially” in the last stage of life–why wait? One of my favorite quotes is from Henri Amiel, who said, “Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are travelling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind!” I’ve always loved that quote, but now that I’m older I finally appreciate what it means.