Now and at the hour of our death. Now and at the hour of our death. This is it… This is that hour. The last line of the Hail Mary echoes in my mind. Some know the term as a prayer, and others, as a last-ditch effort to score a seemingly impossible score, and to salvage a sour game. Either way, I suppose the sentiment is the same. I’ve lived a life trapped by my own body, a mind shackled by sometimes functioning body, and other times it is racked with pain and spasms. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to make my life sound as though it should be one long pity party. It’s been fantastic. I’ve lived, I’ve loved, I’ve fucked up, and I’ve been on a spectacular ride. And unlike most people, I don’t think I’ll be calling on that Hail Mary. Today was a planned day, a celebration of my life and my loved ones. A chance to say hello and goodbye, all at the same time. A release from the prison of a pain addled mind, freedom before it twists me and turns me wicked in some way, a way I don’t want my kids to remember me.
I want them to remember me as their mother, the woman who bore them, loved them, scolded them… Their mother. I don’t want them to remember me as a demon, shouting at the top of my lungs, angry and irritable to the last. A woman who is nothing more than a burden, waiting to be passed to the infinite beyond, leaving my loved ones with the tainted admiration and adoration. My husband and I, this wasn’t an easy decision for us to make. They said it was wrong, that I needed help. But then, I made him understand. I made him understand that this was not a choice to die; we have no choice in the matter. I made him understand that this was a choice about how I lived. And this was the choice we made. A choice to be surrounded by the ones I love, celebrating a lifetime full of experience. I wanted to allow my friends and family to say goodbye to a person, and not a cold decomposing hunk of flesh. I wanted to be the last one to tell them I love them, from my heart to theirs, and from my lips to their years. This is now, the hour of my death.