Home     Writers     Op/Ed     Book Reviews     News     Bookstore     Photoshops     Submit     Search     Contact Us     Advertise  
  You are here: 

Wed

21

Nov

2007

A Death on Valentine Street
Wednesday, 21 November 2007 10:00
by Rosemarie Jackowski

Frank did not know many people in his small New England town. Frank was old - probably in his 80s. He lived alone in a tiny apartment on Valentine Street.

I don't recall ever meeting him in person, but he told me that we had met once. He started to call me on the phone shortly after there were some news reports about my arrest for protesting the war. He continued to call me on a regular basis for several years. If I did not hear from him for a few weeks, I would make a check-up phone call to make sure that he was OK.

His gentleness was apparent even over the phone wires. His intelligence was also apparent. He spoke in a way that only a well-educated, well-traveled person could. I sometimes wondered if he had a secret past. Maybe he was a retired CIA operative, or more likely maybe he was a retired doctor or psychologist. He was usually too modest to talk much about himself.

He had lived in Washington during the Watergate era and had a passion for facts about the Watergate Break-in. He held on to his big dream. He was determined to find a publisher for a book about Watergate that he planned to write. I admired his willingness to hang on to an old dream even though the odds were stacked against him.

When finances made it necessary for him to give up his television set and his only contact with the outside world was a radio and a telephone, he remained optimistic. He never once complained. When I would ask him if he had eaten that day, he always said yes and then he would tell me not to worry about him.

I often planned to visit him, but something more urgent always came up and prevented it. The visit that I planned was never made. Last Friday I read Frank's name in the Obituary Column. My friend on Valentine Street was dead. The newspaper listed his name as Celestine Velkas, but to me he was 'Frank'. I assume that he died alone - just as he had lived in the last years of his life - alone in his tiny apartment.

When I called the funeral home to check on the arrangements, I was told that his body had already been cremated. Now, I would not even be able to place a single red rose in his casket.

There is sadness when any fellow human being dies alone. There is even greater sadness when so many in small towns and large cities live their final years in isolation. Some are virtually alone in nursing homes with no one to visit them even on special days. Some, like my friend, are invisible - hidden away in tiny apartments.

How ironic it is, that the nation that thinks of itself as the most compassionate, has so many who live in isolation. Other countries seem to be far more sensitive to the needs of the elderly - and the young. As a society, we in the United States have a lot to learn.

Rosemarie Jackowski is a 68-year-old grandmother/Air Force Veteran/writer/anti-war activist and an advocacy journalist living in Vermont who On March 20, 2003, participated in a peaceful protest against the war and was arrested, incarcerated, handcuffed, booked, fingerprinted, photographed, arraigned, tried, convicted and sentenced.
More from this author:
9/11 — Conspiracy or Blowback? (3590 Hits)
by Rosemarie Jackowski It is now time to look back and remember — well not exactly. That’s what we have been doing for what seems like...
Poodle Skirts, Buzz Cuts, and Bombs (4117 Hits)
by Rosemary Jackowski This country is just not what it used to be. How many times have you heard that. This country is just not what it used to...
Closing Ranks Against the United States (3600 Hits)
by Rosemarie Jackowski Encirclement has begun. Encirclement is the policy of singling out a nation that has become a major international...
Meltdown at the US State Department (3761 Hits)
by Rosemarie Jackowski You almost have to feel sorry for Condoleezza Rice these days. Seems that the Secretary of State is under attack on all...
Hi-tech Torture (3472 Hits)
by Rosemarie Jackowski "...Now the US military directorate charged with developing non-lethal weapons, which has invested more than a...
Related Articles:
A Journey Through The Mind Of Contemporary Conservatism: Clutching Our Values Aboard The Death Train (10021 Hits)
Day-to-day life within an empire consists of the deceitful leading the disengaged. Although when the artifice shielding a nation’s populace from...
The Melbourne Minutes: New Downing Street Memos from Down Under (7693 Hits)
By David Swanson Over a year before the United States launched an endless war on Iraq in what President George W. Bush told Congress was...
Pale Fire and London Fog: Illuminating Outliers in the Death of Alexander Litvinenko (8393 Hits)
by Chris Floyd This is an updated version of the piece that appeared yesterday at Truthout.org. I. The Baron and the Billionaire ...
Pale Fire and London Fog: Illuminating Outliers in the Death of Alexander Litvinenko (7688 Hits)
by Chris Floyd I. The Baron and the Billionaire Everyone knows that Russian exile Alexander Litvinenko was killed by...
Death to Infidels via Video Game (6194 Hits)
by William Fisher “This is the first time any Christian religious instructional video has recommended killing all non-Christians who...


Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Trackback(0)
Comments (0)add comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

adsense

Top