When to say when


I have talked with my family and my sweetheart and made my wishes known about issues such as do not resuscitate. My mother and sister are religious but also very practical about life. Mom has outlived most of her brothers and sisters as she is just a few weeks away from her 90th birthday. She is in good condition for a person of any age. What keeps her young is her activity. she has a very independent nature and an inquisitive mind. I believe she embodies the song Forever Young.

One thing that my sister Chris wishes Mom could make more friends. Chris has always been the extrovert joining or setting up organizations and knowing people for many years. She still has several friends from when she was in high school around the turn of the century.  That helps her fight off depression and the debilitating effects of lupus. She’s also determined to help look after me. When I visited at Thanksgiving she asked me to describe my sweetheart Lizzy. I didn’t realize it at the time but she was planning to get her a Christmas gift. She sent along a top in the box that I received. Lizzy was wearing the shirt last night when the heat went out in her flat.

And Lizzy was snuggling under the Christmas quilt. she has tangible evidence of the way these women feel about me. Mom talked with Lizzy last week. Now, given the vitality of these women, why would I want to see them hooked up to a ventilator at the end of their lives? They are very clear that’s not the quality of life they would want to have. And I am comfortable with that knowledge. I’ve told Lizzy that if I was brain-dead or a Republican, she has my consent to pull the plug. She has told her adult daughters the same.

Just let me have a nice peaceful death at home And a quiet secular ceremony. But until that time I am going to celebrate life. I have the chance I had always hoped for to have a complete life.  I’m not worried about any afterlife because I will not be there to enjoy it. Holding my sweetheart, cheering for the Packers, and guiding people in their recovery, that’s life.  That’s what I want.

 

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