Malia was a real mentor to me, another single lady who did it her way unabashedly and with an open heart. She was the me I hoped to be at her age. George was an invaluable resource for boondocking and he presented a very different Mexico than most other travellers, making me eager to discover his adopted country. Norma was a social justice warrior in a nation of sheep, a voice for the marginalised of our society and someone who lobbied hard for the advancement of the National Democratic Party, giving me hope that maybe, with a few more Normas, there’s still hope for meaningful change in Canada.
All three were people who lived deeply passionate lives, who didn’t wait until retirement to start living, and who remained active and contributing members of society until the end. They were an inspiration.
And then, there’s another friend of mine, “Jane,” who died very unexpectedly. We were “just” online friends and had been so for about 20 years. We weren’t close enough for her family to know about me, so I found out she was gone by Googling her name after a period of silence and discovering her obituary! Jane rather lived an opposite life of what I want for myself — following the path of a career and then sticking around the same hometown all her life. She was gentle and wise and a champion for elephants while reminding me that a life of quiet routine lived closed to loved ones can be just as fulfilling for some as being a nomad is for me
Recently, I posted about The Gringo Guide to México – Estate Planning. I’m a lot younger than Malia, George, Norma, and Jane. But their deaths still reminded me that sometimes, you really don’t get much, if any, time to prepare. Jane’s death especially tells me that I you need to set up notifications for folks who “only” know you online. So I think I have a project for the coming weeks.
I’ll leave you with this:
Just leaving this here to link to because every single time I post a picture of my dog that shows her claws, I get comments asking about them. Some comments are just innocent questions by folks wanting to be educated. Some are accusations that I’m basically abusing my dog. Here are the facts.
- My dog is a rescue who lived at a refuge for almost 11 years. She only got the most basic care there. They never trimmed her claws.
- Because of this, her quicks are very, very long. Cutting the claws down to a level that Americans and Canadians would deem acceptable would cause her unnecessary pain and distress.
- An animal behaviourist and groomer comes to trim and file down the nails as far as possible on a monthly basis. This gentle method of grooming is tolerated by my very anxious dog who now clearly enjoys here monthly pedicure. The resulting nail length is absolutely fine — she can walk naturally and does not “skate” on tile floors like she did when she arrived. My dog is outdoors most of the time and I do not have floors that could be damaged by her claws, so there is no reason to essentially mutilate her to bring her claws to NOTB (north of the border) standards.
As well-meaning as the comments are, I find them distressing as they imply that I am not taking care of my dog properly. I took on an enormous responsibility when I brought her home almost 13 months ago and she has never lacked for any necessary care and grooming. I have an amazing support team in place for her.