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Goodbye, Connie

My friend Nancy just called to tell me that her mother passed on Wednesday.

Connie was an incredibly sweet, kind, and funny Japanese woman. Her marriage to Nancy's father (an American serviceman) caused some unpleasantness in the family, of course, but they had three wonderful, gorgeous daughters. After he retired from the service, they settled in Las Vegas. After her husband's death, because of her fragile health (she had several micro-strokes due to high blood pressure, and the blood pressure medication messed with her memory) she consented to moving into Michael and Nancy's spare room, where she lived for, I think, ten years. She deteriorated last year to the point where she couldn't live at home any more, and they found a nearby care center where she was able to receive the level of care she needed.

She was no longer able to recognize when people entered the room, and was resisting being fed; the way they were doing it was as close to forced-feeding as you can get without intubation, but her treatment directive, from six years ago, didn't anticipate that.

Her death was a release from quiet suffering and profound confusion.