To the Editor:
Jim Longandorfer was in his early 90’s. He had 11 cats he took care of haphazardly. I entered his home and found him unresponsive and called 911 and he was whisked off to the hospital. That was the last I ever saw of him. He died months later. It took me days to corral his cats that his family had just put out the door. Lillie was the mother of six of them. She died this past Monday. I buried her beneath our lilac tree.
When life departs, I suspect many are stricken with remorse for what they should have done better. It gnaws on my heart when I recount the anger I had at being bitten again and having to go on antibiotics again. Now it all seems so crude to have reacted so. She was too weak to get into the litter box, so I would wipe her down with a warm washcloth. Jarvis, our youngest cat, spent the last two nights sitting by her side in the enclosure. I was moved by this gesture. I slept intermittently, rising to clean, comfort and pray for her.
Mourning life deeply involves personal interaction/commitment. Fifty to 60 million people and countless animals die yearly. I am intellectually aware, but emotionally distant. I didn’t know them. Close connections form bonds of love.
With the election in progress, there was no use in me attempting to arouse voters to think deeply about our democracy’s future, which is always imperiled, not just by our politicians, but by citizens who neglect to vote. Society is a fragile ecosystem. Our nation is divided, too many reveling in partisan conspiracies. And we have a leader who understands that he can razzle and dazzle people with the right lies knowing that eventually they’ll go blind to the madness right in front of their face.
And yet, life/death continues unabated. Good or bad, like Lillie, our fate is death. In our minute or years remaining, can we salvage a world in more turmoil than most people seem to know? Technology has done little to assuage the ill-informed hearts worldwide. We are too easily manipulated in a world full of an abundance of lies.
If we persist in pretending our convictions are sacrosanct, truth will be as shrouded as our inevitable death. Enlightenment a far-flung pipe-dream.
My Lillie died too soon in a world ravaged by sorrow and lies. I wish I could have done more.
— Robert Matthew Di-Angelo