irma photocollage 2

I am blessed with my mother's skin.

People often stop me to compliment me on how soft and smooth my skin looks.
When asked how I keep it that way, I can only smile and say "good genes."

Having recently celebrated a birthday, I am increasingly aware of the aging process.
It takes its toll, ultimately, on all of us. I have a younger brother, who died too early
 – in his 50s, of complications from obesity. Another friend died in her early 60s of
breast cancer and another in his 60s of complications from diabetes and hypertension.

Others have lived a relatively long life and died in their 80s like my mom. Hers was a
quiet death with peace and grace. Her body simply started to shut down, and we had
decided beforehand to take no "measures"– no tubes, no resuscitation, no needles in
her thin arms. It was the most difficult decision to makeahead of time, but I'm glad my
siblings and I agreed upon this course of action. Mom left us gracefully, and with
dignity. The death of friends and family are all signposts and gentle reminders of our
own impending mortality. Human beings are a species with a biological time clock built in.

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Orig. Post: Wednesday, 23 April 2014 13:16