Thursday, March 12, 2009

Flowers for Her Birthday

Mom was born ninety years ago today.

She is grateful not to have to face a cake with that many candles. She didn't want that many years, or even the last few of the 89 she completed.

A year ago I took her to lunch at Carrow's and noticed that it took her so long to eat. She was having difficulty swallowing but managed to eat about five breaded shrimp.
She ate a spoonful of mashed potatoes and applesauce, a few French fries.
She wanted rhubarb pie--not on the menu.

She drank a huge cold glass of milk, but three weeks later she couldn't swallow milk or water.

She starved to death, actually--they call it "end stage dementia" when the brain and throat muscles of an Alzheimer's or other dementia patient can't work together to swallow.

But at the end it was a peaceful death, painless, with her daughters holding her hands.