I know, I know! I promised there'd be no more "Prince" rants here. I didn't mean to, but I lied. So here's your chance....Turn back now before I get started!
Having been here, dancing attendance for more than a month, Miss Oriss returned north in mid-May, to take care of some business, say hello to her life and her garden, celebrate her daughter's birthday, and, last but not least, to maintain her sanity. The Prince seemed like he'd manage fine without her for a while. Not only did he rebuff all her efforts to manage his medications for him --- "My body may be veak, but my brain is still sharp!" Right. He is certainly entitled to his opinion. It also seemed that she was putting a crimp in his social life. Overheard snippets of telephone conversations ---
"We can meet for dinner after my daughter goes home...." or
"I'll call you when my daughter goes back to The North." And to her----
"So, when are you going home?" Wanting to know the date and the hour. So she did what any angry, frustrated person, who does not like Florida much anyway, would do. She went home.
Fast forward a week.
"Molly, I'm not doing so good."
He pauses for the gravity of this announcement to sink in. I roll my eyes but don't let it reach my voice.
"What's wrong now?" I ask, trying not to emphasize the "now."
"I think I may have to go to hospital." Dramatic pause while he catches his breath ...."I'm very veak....."
When I get to his house he has summoned a nurse's aide he met at his breakfast joint. She tells me his pulse rate is very high.
She's new to his games. I don't tell her that Sir Laurence would look like an amateur here...
So what to do? He likes to get as many people weighing in on the debate as possible.
His new friend is anxious for him to go to the ER. I tell him if he goes he has to stay long enough for them to do something for his problem. No checking himself out when the memories come flooding back--of the less than five star service; of the regular disturbances [imagine! In a hospital!] for blood pressure checks; of the inedible food; of the nerve of the roommate who keeps the TV on at maximum decibels....all day[!!]; of the doctors/nurses/cleaning ladies' lack of interest in the Threadbare Tales. Fascinating as they may be....they have work to do. He starts to waver. Maybe he should wait and see.?
And so it goes.
Back and forth throughout the day.. Finally, he decides he should go. Miraculously, there is no waiting. They take him right in. And the man whose heart was racing, who could hardly catch his breath earlier, regales the nurses, who are only looking for short answers, with the epic version of everything; the version that starts way back in World War Two.
Two days later, dripped full of vitality inducing fluids, armed with a new prescription, he's back on the street, but "very veak."
So Nellie the elephant packed her trunk and off she went to the circus.....And Miss Oriss, dutiful daughter, who had just unpacked her trunk up north, packed it again, put away her trowel, kissed her garden goodbye, winged her way back to Florida and danced attendance for another month.
Meanwhile, I left for Ireland. The Fourth of July approached. The Bean winged it north to play golf with the OC. Miss Oriss, having satisfied herself that the Prince was well enough to be left alone for a week, accompanied him to the airport, and also winged her way north.
Three days later, with all of us out of his way, the Prince of Carpathia died.
No poking or prodding.
No loud TV.
No inedible hospital food
No one to comfort him either,or hold his hand as he exited this world.
We were always at loggerheads, but I never would have wished for him to be alone at the end.
May he rest in peace.
Postscript: The devil in me wishes I could have been a little spider, sitting in my web, in a corner of the Pearly Gates when he arrived. Imagine St. Peter hesitating to let him in.....? The outrage.....
"Young man, do you know who I am?"
"Let me speak to your supervisor!"
He's probably got his lawyer handling the whole affair.
I hope the lawyer can cut him a deal.