Monday, August 25, 2008

Tramp the dirt down

Attention Gen X: If what we all wished for back in the day is any indication, it appears that dementia is the most gruesome imaginable way to die, at least of the ordinary ways to die: First Reagan, now Thatcher.

I'll buy that. Something that simply smites your elderly ass isn't nearly as horrifying to face as something that steals your mind, your memories, your dignity, and your personal relationships -- my father couldn't visit my grandmother for the last year of his life, as it was just too traumatic to his own dying system -- and leaves you locked inside your own body to witness it. (I asked my grandmother about her awareness of her decline, while she could still be asked. She was "still in there," she told me, and it was awful to see the disconnections. Like being fogged in, she said, and knowing that the signals you were sending out were coming through fuzzed and wrong. Beyond frustrating. Often beyond humiliating.)

So there's that, and the families of Mr. Reagan and Ms. Thatcher will have their own thoughts on who suffers now and how splattery karma can be when it comes around. But I have to confess that though we really did think that Maggie and Ronnie were about the evilest damn things we ever saw back then, I'm hoping that fate has something more... gratifying... in store for Dick Cheney in the full measure of his years.

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