My mother is elderly….she would not be happy if I mentioned her exact age but it is impressive. Equally impressive is the number of times (and the number of illnesses) she has bounced back from like a human Energizer Bunny.
She has Multiple Sclerosis, and she might very well be the oldest person alive with MS. MS has not been the direct cause of any of her life threatening illnesses…MS robbed her of probably her most precious possessions, her mobility and independence. She was 81 before the fall that fractured her hip necessitated giving up her car keys and her house keys.
Each time she has become seriously ill she begins a review of her wishes with the same introduction, "Marianne, please don’t be sentimental" and then proceeds to list how she would like her earthly departure to be handled. The first item on the list is always a reminder about her living will. Through the years, as she has survived most of her friends and family, the list of funeral wishes gets shorter and shorter. The last crisis was in January and at that time she crossed the funeral itself off the list.
My usual response is to get very sentimental and to make my own list: Have I told her how much I really admire her strength and downright bravery? How much I will miss her? And most recently I have added , how much it has meant to me that she has, at her age, helped me, at my age, survive the past year and a half of warfare that my ex-husband has waged and how much I hope that she will be around to be re-paid. I resolve to write what I have begun to call a living eulogy. But as I mentioned, she is the Energizer Bunny and before my resolve turns into a second paragraph, she gets well.
Earlier tonight, I Googled the term "living eulogy" and the expected suspects appeared: how to write an eulogy ebooks, grief counseling, funeral homes and the most intriguing link of all? www.deathclock.com. But wait, there’s more…at first try a message appeared that said traffic was too heavy and directed me to another "mirror" site. Well, it must be all the rage to count down the seconds to ones death. Yes, that is what is available on DeathClock. I tried again later and was able to determine that I will die on February 3, 2032. The site begins a countdown to the expected date in seconds…I am not sure what we are supposed to do with that information other than to start counting along.
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