My 80-year old grandmother fell last night and broke her hip in four places. She has been addled by Alzheimer's Disease for several years now, unable to recognize anyone or hold a conversation, and now she's in tremendous physical pain and doesn't know why. She endured a long surgery today, putting a pin in her hip, and on Monday will begin therapy so she might be able to walk again, and she won't understand why she's in so much pain and will probably scream just like she screamed last night after the fall.
Grandma hasn't strung together two words in English for two years, offering only occasional babbles in German. However, this morning when she came out of the surgery, she looked into my uncle's eyes, and said, "I'm tired and want to be with Ta Ta now." Ta Ta is grandpa, who died in 1991. It was the most lucid statement she has made in years.
What a horrible way to go. She's been dying for eight years and I'm hoping she will not have to suffer through much more. I'm struggling to maintain the memories I have of her as a formidable presence in my youth and adolescence and not the haunted ghost she is today.
I love living. I want to die at the age of 119 in a duel with a jealous lover. But I'd never want to live like this.
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