Our neighbor, Mr. Rodger, is 96 years old. One day he asked me, “How old do you think I am?” I said, “In your 70’s?” He laughed wildly and told me he was 96. I couldn’t believe it.
Mr. Rodger was a doctor in Haiti and came to the US over 50 years ago. He lives by himself and gets around without an issue. Rodger has lived in the apartment next to us for a long time, and he is the friendliest neighbor we have ever had.
When I see Mr. Rodger, I always remind him that if he ever needs anything, we would be more than happy to help him. “Grocery shopping, help around the house, anything!” But he always declines.
A few months ago, I asked Mr. Rodger how he was doing, and he said, “Terrible! I am dying!” He didn’t tell me exactly what ails him, but he said the doctors finally figured out his long time issue, and there is nothing they can do for him. “So I will just die.”, he said.
I have seen him less and less around the building, and every time I see him his is skinnier than the last time. His belt tied around his waist and his clothes are falling off of his thin frame.
I fear for the day when I open the front door and smell something off in the hallway, only to realize that Mr. Rodger is dead. I have been mentally prepping myself for that day.
Mr. Rodger is not long for this world, and I wish him a peaceful passing. The last time I saw him, I asked him if he was enjoying life. He said, “I am. What’s left of it, of course.”