Wednesday, July 26, 2006
What You Will
Jacques, Shakespeare's great pessimist, details man's seven ages in theatrical terms. The final age is bleakly detailed thus:-
...Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
They took my mother to the hospice yesterday. While she sleeps, or rests fitfully, I can believe that she's just drowsy because of the pain relief. When she's half-awake, half-alert, the whole inescapable nastiness of it is hard to bear. She sat up to take a drink of lukewarm pineapple juice, just as we were leaving. The juice comes in one of those little cartons, meant to fit in a lunch box. She is a large, flamboyant woman, but she looked tiny and helpless on the bed. It was about the saddest thing I've ever seen. How terrible, to be a child again, without any of the attendant joy and innocence. We took my grandmother home. It is impossible to imagine how she must feel, and impossible to comprehend the resilience of spirit that keeps her from breaking down. I am so proud of her that even to think of it brings me to tears.