Ready to Go

My Mom is now in a nursing home because my sister can no longer take care of her.  Her legs no longer work, her hands struggle with the simplest of tasks, her mind is misfiring causing confusion and frustration, yet her pacemaker keeps her heart beating.  To me, all these things mean she’s no longer living, that which I would describe as internal organs, as well as muscles and brain all functioning together to move you about and keep you present.  This is my first good look at “old age” and it’s something I don’t want to go through.  I can’t guarantee it won’t happen by eating well, exercising, and keeping my brain challenged, but these things can’t hurt.  I fear ending up in this state more than dying.  And yet, “old age” will mean I’ve not only experienced a full, long life, but I’ve shared my children’s as well, and much of my grandchildren’s.  In the movie Meet Joe Black, death has a conversation with a cancer patient:  “If we lucky . . . we got some nice pictures to take with us.”  “You got enough nice pictures?”  “Yes.”  “Good-bye sister.”  My Mom has enough nice pictures; she’s ready to go.

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