Whoa! Didja get the numbers off that truck?!?

May 23, 2002 - 10:28 p.m.


My Dad died almost two years ago. My "old school" parents were partners for many years. They were part of the dubya dubya two generation; where you married for life whether you liked it or not. (Parenthetically, some present day Catholic folks I know live by that same gospel, but I digress.) I think my Mom and Dad stayed together because of that belief and because they had character traits that meshed together smoothly like well worn gears in a reliable old machine. I'm sure that the adjustments that happen over time when two people live together had a lot to do with the comfortable aging together that Bob and Maryann enjoyed.

If you were somehow dropped in to the middle of it like an otherworldly spy you would likely say "how the hell do these two get along?"

Well, they did. That they were able to do it earns quiet applause from my corner, because I didn't have to endure the wrenching apart experience my kids lived through.

My Dad died in September 2000 after a losing battle with lymphoma, a tough and relentless adversary. He was a graceful gentleman to the end. His hospice workers saw him as that; he lived his whole life that way.

He left my mom disconnected, I think. I don't believe she adjusted to the widowed spouse role well. I have no personal experience to base this on because she lives halfway across the country and my contact with her has been limited to phone calls and birthday cards. I have watched her via remote contact and her world is gradually shrinking. She went from fully independent living to monitored living in fairly short order. Then (after brief hospital stays) she moved on to living on full time oxygen support, and a walker. All the while she's happy as can be because all her needs are met. And still her world steadily shrinks.

Not having to breathe, not needing to walk far, having nothing outside your small orbit, having nothing other than the view outside your window; what does this do to people? From my perspective this is rapid evolution; the things we don't use dry up and fall off. We lost tails and gills and fur in the thousands of years as we evolved to land based creatures. For Maryann in this life, she's losing the desire to live on this earth without her partner. If this is what she wants then I accept it.

She's been in the hospital for about two weeks, the present day problems center around her cardiovascular and lung systems. To greatly oversimplify it, the "use it or lose it" laws of nature are taking their toll on her. It's a see-saw syndrome and her margins of life are closing in. The doctors are merely applying methods that make her swing back and forth. All the while she's happy as can be.

My Dad fought death courageously until the end. My Mom seems to be freely accepting the narrowing margins of her body's systems. I think she wants to be with Dad again.

I hope that happens.

the last one -*- the next one

Current Terr Alert Level
Terror Alert Level
OMG, She's agonna blow!

blah blah:

about me