Thursday, November 13, 2003

Sliding Down Occam's Razor - Watching My Sister Disappear

Stumbled onto this living requiem of a journal called Watching My Sister Disappear and it got me to thinking about my own family. Just two of us left now. And we have no descendants. Guess that's why my genealogy site is called "A Dying Breed," huh?

"We" used to mean the "Terror Trio" -- the thought of Billy, Ricky and Howie getting together in their homes caused palpitations in my grandmother's hearts (I'd previously been enough to kill off the only living grandpa shortly after my arrival).

Alas, Ricky is no longer with us. Little brother discovered his corpse one fine day in June 2000. Now he's haunted by the memory. Not sure whether it was accidental (he had diabetes and epilepsy and a history of not taking care of himself) or intentional -- the process of decay made it impossible to tell for certain. He was, by all reports, rebuilding his life after an unsuccessful suicide attempt 10 months earlier.

Neither Howard nor I are in the best of health and we are both over the hump and sliding down Occam's Razor into a vat of rubbing alcohol. I suspect that if a car accident, heart attack or stroke don't claim us then suicide probably will. We have both seen and come to understand the horror of life in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. While that type of existence might be fine for most, we are both reclusive curmudgeons. Just the thought of living with that many people again causes shudders down the spine (and in my case a fit of apoplexy). Death by Colt is much to be preferred.

Don't get me wrong -- neither of us are ready to do the deed any time soon. Its just that the horror of Alzheimer's, for instance, is enough that neither of us would be willing to allow the disease to progress as far as it has in the case described by Ms. Ross in her journal regarding her sister's losing battle with the disease.

Then again, no one's getting out of existence alive, are they?