When a mother asks you to help her die,,, 300 words
|“Don’t ever try to keep me alive,” Alice begged. “Please don’t do that to me. If you find me on the floor some day, just leave me there. Don’t go call the ambulance. Promise me that.” She was adamant, and she was my mother.|
Her health was still good then, but her heart wasn’t in it. She had never intended to outlive her husband. She took a firm hand with herself though, exercising daily and making herself stay active. Still, she was failing. Her doctor told her she had Parkinson’s. Her tremor grew worse; her shuffle became noticeable; her mind came loose rapidly.
I wasn’t sure if she knew what she was facing. It made her nervous to talk about it, wild-eyed, so we didn’t. But I suspected that she’d read the doctor’s pamphlet, and had in her mind’s eye the horror of reaching a state where she could no longer feed herself or wipe the drool from her own mouth.
The terrible stiffness that can render a person unable even to sit in a chair--I don’t think she knew about that. That was my fear for her. I’d seen that, and I prayed something else would take her first.
“Isn’t there something you can do?” she asked, on her clear days. “I don’t know what I’m waiting for. I’ve been around too long already. You can help me, can’t you? ”
I was the only child, the only one to turn to, and there was nothing I could do.
One winter day, when I had a terrible cold, she asked me once again. I went to her and held her close. I talked to her, told her that I loved her, and kissed her.
Coughing, I said that I was doing all I could.