My Mother and the Crow
My mother was ninety-three when she died last month and frankly I was a bit surprised that she left so young. Her grandmother was well over one hundred when she died, so I just kind of assumed that mom, being in nearly perfect physical health at her last birthday, would probably carry on until at least 2015. But that didn’t happen. That dark crow, Alzheimer’s, hovering over her these last few years, made a last great swoop this past Autumn. He roosted somewhere in her mind and didn’t leave. There were, however, moments when he dropped his guard. These were not warm, blessed minutes of normalcy but tragic windows through which mom saw where she had been and where she was and where she was surely heading. Those were the terrified, “My God, what’s happening to my brain?” moments. It must have been in one of those brief, bright episodes that she devised a plan to beat the bastard; she’d starve him to death. In little more that three weeks she went from her usual eighty-six pound weight to about sixty-eight pounds. I am convinced that she had decided to kill the crow, even if it meant he’d take her with him. And she did. And he did.