Another milestone in our passage towards oblivion. A good friend, May Boothby, passed away, while watching TV in her own home. May stoutly resisted the idea of moving in with her kids, despite the many attempts by them to get her to move in or closer to them. May remained stubbornly independent and died presumably as she would have wished.
We met May and her family when we lived in New Delhi and May lived in Jaipur. May’s husband was with the UN Food and Agricultural Organization. They lived in Jaipur so Guy could work with Indian farmers who were raising sheep. Guy and May had three kids at the time we met and they added a fourth midway through their term in India. Their two sons were close in age to our two daughters and the kids played together regularly whenever we got together. One of our fond memories was a weekend we spent in Jaipur with Guy and May. It was one of the boys’ birthdays and May had arranged for the kids to take a ride around Jaipur on an elephant. We were all in the house, when the boys came racing into the house yelling, “Mommie, Mommie, there’s a strange elephant in the driveway” Not just an elephant, mind you, but a strange elephant.
While living in Jaipur, The Boothby’s had become good friends with the Princess of Jaipur and friends with her parents, the Maharajah and Maharani of Jaipur. Through them, we were invited to many fabulous affairs in Jaipur. We attended a formal ball at the Maharajah’s city palace—an amazing affair for two little kids from New York. We were greeted at the palace gates—silver doors actually, by a well dressed man, and then farther on by a well-dressed elephant.
Later, May invited us to spend some time with the princess (we knew her as "Mickie") at the Maharajah’s summer hunting lodge near Jaipur. We dined, the kids cavorted next to a tiger brought down by the Maharajah, and a good time was had by all.
May and Guy traveled extensively beyond India. They lived in Africa, and in South America before returning to Australia.
Happily, we got to visit May in Australia, when we journeyed there to attend the wedding of a Sri Lankan lad with whom we had become close in the US.
May had a full life. It did not deliver all she wanted or deserved. She and Guy divorced after their return to Oz. May deserved more.
But she had the full support and love of her kids until she finally left this life and passed into the Night for Which There is no Morning.