My two grannies rock! For real. Wait, not that real. I cannot imagine having asked my wife to marry me, placing the ring on her finger, her saying yes and then I coyly add “my granny is so happy.” At 92 and 97 my maternal and paternal predecessors of pasta and pierogi are still rocking it out.
They taught me to sew, cook and care for family. Dinner plates were warmed in the oven. Ever have that? The greatest – warmed plates. They were scared of mice I wrangled up and proudly presented them like a pet cat. When my naughtiness got out of hand they commanded I pick my own switch from the pussywillow tree. They comforted me when I knew only how to cry about my feelings. We scrabbled and shuffled decks of war and gin rummy and watched Hee Haw.
One of them is a hot potato in Medicare mayhem which has made me want to carry a cyanide pill around my neck and put in writing that my wife and can put two in the back of my head when it comes time…a time that we both agree on. Meaning that time when I stop being me. Stop participating in my life. Stop knowing who is who and which way is which and what…what is happening. That is not life and it needs to stop.
It is so easy for me to sit here now and discuss this plan, on average a lifetime away. Dude! I have a full lifetime to live. I’ve lived half of a life. I have to live a who-nutha life. How much fun is that? If you are my granny you may not know how fun it was. You may not know your son. You do not know your grandson. You do not know how to verbally communicate that you do not know, that you cannot see. Your sparse moments of vocal clarity simply repeat, “sunshine, where's my sunshine.”
She would call herself a “platinum blonde,” adding “Don’t get old, David.” I would respond with, “there is only one alternative.” That alternative – the choice to shut it down should be mine. Is there a health insurance policy that includes the flight to Washington state? There should be a charitable organization that provides an experiential event to end the conscious effort of living. The Make-A-Wish equivalent we could call DeathWish.
Paying for your final safari – to be induced into eternal slumber and then fed to the lions. How Christian is that! Point being you go out in hyper joie d’ vivre, the zest for life not removed but made zestier, unburdening your family and friends. Imagine the Funeral Home transformed from a quietly crying, formaldehyde and pollen processed parlor to dance floor or a movie-marathon theater space. Sharing a final experience rather than making people look at your make-up doused sunken face.
The fact my real life Rosie the Riveter has no choice but to stay on the assembly line of death is disgusting. We are not forever. We do have the opportunity to positively influence the lives of others by how we live and end our life. Profiteering on passing away is preposterous. I want the opportunity to process my post-life properly.
Comedy Store trained, World-travelled, Cul-de-sac-living recovering comedian, husband and tinkerer of tools and time well spent!