There was an old woman, who lived….not in a shoe, she actually lived in an old house but in a very nice Gold Coast location. She had spent almost 40 years in the same house, and in that time, the only thing that had changed was the carpet. Once. Built in the 70s, the house still sported a brown and orange kitchen, blue floral tiled bathrooms, that peeled more often than not, even with layers of super glue, and a white concrete pillar balcony out the back. The swimming pool was as pristine as it was 30 years ago when it was built.
But while the pool still glistened, the old lady did not. She had aged – she was 90 years old after all – and had slowed down considerably. The days of having grandchildren in the pool every weekend and the old woman and her husband coming and going to golf, tennis, lawn bowls, the grandkids place had long gone. Instead, they’d been replaced by long, lonely days, often filled with pain – physical and emotional. This house had seen the arrival of 5 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. It had also seen the passing of her husband and years later, their son. The house, which was once full of love and laughter, was now cold and empty. Uninviting.
The old lady was starting to have more frequent trips to hospital, and she wondered aloud to her daughter, “Why can’t they just give me an injection and put me to sleep?”
Sometimes we out-live life. Living to 90 is a privilege many people don’t get. But for some, living to 90 is also a curse. When you can’t hear, you can’t see, you are given just months before doctors predict you will be in a wheelchair, nothing brings you joy anymore, and you wonder “Why am I still here?!” it is not living. It is merely existing. When you can’t remember your daughters name, or that you’ve just asked the same question 5 times in the last 30 minutes, it is not living.
Sometimes we out-live life. At that point, it should be up to us what happens next.