do you really want to live forever?
My grandmother--Grandmother Shirley, the coal miner's wife, the stubborn Midwestern spitfire, the fixer of mashed potatoes and conquerer of crossword puzzles, a woman who loves Wild Turkey and Lifetime movies and her family, the woman who raised her only child to be my incredible father--is coming to the end of her life.
That tough old bird was diagnosed with lung cancer and given six months to live. That was five years ago. The cancer hasn't put too much of a crimp on her style, but she does hate the oxygen she's had to wear for the last few months. She just stopped mowing her own acre+ yard recently.
After her first round of chemo in years yesterday, she passed out in the passenger seat on the way home. Her blood CO2 levels are far beyond what would be fatal for most people. They revived her quickly and now she's awake and alert, joking with us over the phone. But her CO2 levels aren't budging. She says she's ready to go and the time is near. The doctors don't disagree. She says she isn't afraid to die, just afraid to suffer.
Daddy's on his way up right now. Mama and I are taking things minute-to-minute, trying to decide what on earth to do, given that I am supposed to leave for Boston in less than 48 hours. When it rains, it 500-year floods.
at my cousin Matthew's wedding in 2008. from left, my cousin Jeannie, Grandmother Shirley, my mother. my father is above.
I'm not a pray-er but I am a believer in positive vibes. Send your warm thoughts up to Northern Missouri right now to my Daddy and my Grandmother Shirley and our whole family as we celebrate the hell out of a life lived well.
If death is a part of life, why is it so hard to let the people we love go?