There's a couple who've been coming into the restaurant for as long as I've worked there, maybe a couple times a week. She's around my age, but her companion's a much older man. Her father. They don't talk much; just sit in the corner and eat their breakfast burritos in relative silence.
The other day, she came in by herself and ordered something to go. While she was waiting, she suddenly burst into tears. "I don't know what to do! I've been taking care of him for such a long time, and as he gets older, it's consuming my life. He doesn't want things to be this way, but he's gotten to the point where he can't do anything by himself. He has to be constantly monitored. The bills are piling up. And I have no life of my own."
This is my greatest fear. I don't want to do this to my children. Of course, I have no money so my options are few. I worry about having to end my own life when circumstances make it necessary- mostly, about the method- realizing that my suicide will do its own damage; though in the long run it's most likely the best alternative.
I wish...I wish...I wish there was a societal recognition of this problem, with a governmentally sanctioned solution for those who don't want to just sit back and 'let nature take its course'. In case I'm not being clear, I'm talking about government assisted suicide, specifically euthanasia centers where people who don't want to live anymore can be put down humanely. I don't want to leave my children with the image of a gun in my mouth and the back of my head blown out. But when you get to be my age, you have to start thinking about these things. Nothing I'm considering in the short term, mind you. I'm still hoping to go peacefully in my sleep :) Unfortunately, that doesn't happen very often.
I don't really like the idea of dying; the process, I mean. It represents a loss of control. At this point in my life, that's pretty much all that's left- and I feel it slipping away. All the signs of aging are jostling for position now, making their proximity felt in numerous ways. I'm not a kid anymore, although 12yrs old feels like yesterday, and that's what hurts the most. To look back and see all those years barely out of grasp, a dream just beyond your fingertips. Then to look forward, and see a wall rushing at you, and to know there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. And your kids standing on the sidelines; trying to live their own lives, trying not to think about the bad shit life is going to throw at them until the very last minute, when they're forced to, and the chips- or body parts, as the case may be- fall where they may.
It's all such a tragedy.
This horrifies me to no end.