Monday, August 13, 2012

Pansy Tulip Rose

Its been a long couple of weeks or years or something. I'm losing track of time, of people, of meaning. This is the litany of the dead.

In East Germany, Tulip's father carved a merry-go-round horse of ice and pulled it with the cow for his children to ride, but the Russians showed up and her family had to flee over the frozen river with all they could carry in a wagon. She was so hungry she ate mud. She finally made it to the states, but even with Alzheimer's, she couldn't forget the Russian soldiers and secured her door with gnarled fingers -- twisting and untwisting the lock day and night.

"I'm tired," Pansy said. "I don't want to live any more," in her sheer, Parkinsonian whisper. "You're a good girl," she said to me as we talked about her dying, her wish to be relieved from what her body, her life, had become. That I did not intervene, did not push food, water, medicine or hope, was my gift to her. It is the best I can do in the yawning gap between life and not life.

I went to Tulip's funeral and cried all the way to Damascus and Boring and back. For all of them. For all of them to come.

I'm tired.

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