Colorful companion to my memoir The Incompetent Psychic
The Kaiser emergency physician went to a nearby computer and quickly returned with a calmer expression.
“I’ve read your mother’s directive. This is how we can make her comfortable…” and offered palliative suggestions. One was morphine, which pretty much said what we suspected. My sister and I called Blair, who was also in agreement to honor the wishes she had recorded when lucid years earlier. With half a functioning heart, Joan still lived long enough to be sent home with hospice care. She survived another three days. I didn’t see her conscious again, but she hadn’t really been our mom for a long, long time.
Those final dementia years with a brain that barely functioned caused my feelings around her death to be equal parts grief and relief. The paradox of being numb between those two extremes lasted a long time, but at least and at last she had finally found peace. — From Chapter 15
I drew a final portrait of my mother unconscious in the hospital while on vigil with her. She was 89. Joan was so strong that a brain destroyed by Alzheimers combined with a massive coronary still wasn’t enough to give her the mercy of a quick death. That sad last sketch is both lost, and not how she would like to be remembered. Much happier paintings of Joan as a beautiful young cowgirl show up elsewhere in this companion blog.
I substituted a portrait of Joe Marra instead. After years of acrimony following a bad breakup decades earlier, Joe and I found merciful forgiveness and became trusted friends. His calm presence in my garden was a healing balm for my sad heart back when Mom died. Joe also left for the other side a few years ago. Since a lifetime on Earth is a hummingbird flight in the eternity of a soul, I imagine laughing in a lush garden with both Joan and Joe before too awful long.
A signed copy of Mernie’s memoir is available at www.etsy.com/listing/839838936
Unsigned copies can be ordered wherever books are sold.