Thursday, April 23, 2020

“My Crickets: A Little Decameron #28”

I hate to say this, but I'm happy my mother died in her assisted living-home when she did, at age 92. Her caretakers described her, in the last few days, as "actively dying," as if it was almost an activity of will. It would have been terrible to know that she had COVID-19 and that we couldn't even visit her to give her some comfort.
     My sister had already filed an Advanced Medical Directive on my mother's behalf, so that tubes would not be jammed down her nose and throat if her health deteriorated.
I think we all need to rethink nursing homes and assisted-living spaces. Perhaps living at home with family would help our elders more than shipping them out to petri dishes of disease. And, as in Asian cultures, they might even contribute to the raising of our children.
     Of course, Howard and I, without children, have no place really to "go." Our brothers and sisters are also aging, and we hardly know our nephews and nieces, who also have their children to care for. And neither of us would be comfortable in Iowa or the suburbs of Washington, D.C. We are very urban folks.
     I've directed that, if at all possible, I'd like to die at home. 88% of the hospital patients in New York, put on a ventilator, died with no one at their side but those brave and very busy nurses.
     Good accompaniment to my comments by the mourning doves—but, obviously, they are not truly "mourning," but are calling out songs of love, just as our poor bachelor crickets are nightly desperately attempting to attract a female to magically enter our house.
     The brown cricket came into our bedroom last night to rub out his legs, while the black one, obviously the more reluctant explorer, stayed in place.
     Last night Howard made baked lemon chicken thighs, but he had forgotten to get Pinot Grigio. So I elected to make the run, bringing also back some Kiwi fruits. He also made fresh mashed potatoes.
     The crickets, accordingly, received tiny bits of baked chicken as their cricketing award.
     I gather our vegetarian determination has ceased. But as Tyson continues to close plants (they just closed down the plant in Waterloo, Iowa, the town in which I was born) because of so many of their employees coming down with the virus, it may have to become the new reality. I should add, we don't buy Tyson or Perdue products.

Los Angeles, April 23, 2020
Reprinted from Facebook (April 2020).

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