Well, the doctors finally called and approved her to come in for surgery. Had it not been for my stepfather's tenacity and brute determination god knows how long she would have waited. Until January, March, next October? She would have waited patiently, trusting the doctors to do what was best for her. In all that pain. With all those bones rubbing and grinding against eachother.

Only a few years ago she was spry and lively. An hornery and incorrigable child of 70-something. She says she would be happy to have remained three years old forever. Dr Spock says it's a delightful age, she reminds me all too often. She's begun to remind us all of everything a little too often. Mulitple times a day, telling the same stories over and over, never realizing. I'm pretty sure her mind is beginning to slip away to wherever the fluid in her joints have gone. Neither seems to be anywhere near by.

I feel guilty whenever I'm around her. Guilty for walking, standing, bending my knees. Doing all the things she'll probably never do again. They say that if they can go in and add bits of coral to the hip it will take to the bone and grow around it. Then they can work towards the hip replacement. But that was the plan a few years ago when the hip had only begun to degenerate. Now there's almost nothing left. And what about the other hip and the shoulders and the knees. Can they replace them all? Should they? Would she survive it? Here is a woman who raised two children alone through a war and worked full time for 45 years after her son of a bitch primadonna husband left her and now she barely has the strength or will to get up in the mornings. On more medication than i knew existed. Still in pain. That awful debilitating pain. Immobilizing and degrading pain. You cannot rationlize with pain. You can't talk to it and bargain with it. You can "manage" it. HA! -"pain management" I love that phrase. As if it were finances or a business. These things we cannot control, they control us. ,P.

I suppose I can somehow understand her lack of will. When the treatments and solutions and medications leave you with only less pain, it's not unlikely that you would rather go to a place where there is no pain. Maybe even at the cost of your existence.

So she's off to the OR. What now? I'm almost afraid to find out. And what can i do for her? Pray to a god I don't believe in? Work a spell for good health? Cook her favorite things for her return home? They all seem to fall short. Maybe I'll just read her a book. She cannot even do that anymore. Her eyes are as bad as her bones. She has a stack of books she still plans on reading someday. We'll start with "Gun's, Germ's and Steel" . The things that have shaped our world. No one else in my family are big readers so they don't understand how frustrating it would be to not even be able to pick up a book and read it after poring through three to four books a week for the last quarter century. That might very well have been the last straw for me. Maybe the reading aloud will help. Despite being sentenced to a bed post-surgery. Despite the bed pans and bed sores. At least to occupy her mind and keep her from going to far into her own thoughts. I know that a person can die before the body ceases to live. I've seen it before. When they are only hanging on for the sake and habit of holding on.