My mother was born on September 30, 1913. She died just about two months shy of her 92nd birthday in 2005.
When she had just turned 80, she announced that she would not live much longer, saying that her brain was programmed to last for 75 years so her body must surely soon follow. This was a statement quite prescient of the dementia that would soon enough become evident to everyone else. She cancelled her long standing subscription to Home and Garden Magazine, writing to them that she did not expect to be alive long enough to take advantage of another full year. She showed me the dress she would like to be dressed in for the funeral.
When she failed to kick the bucket in her 80th year, she decided she was meant to see in the next century. When Y2K came and went, she decided she must have been meant to reach the 100 year old mark. Her mental decline was rapid and fierce after that, though.
At the point where we just could no longer maintain her safety and well being in her home, we had to move her into a nursing facility. I knew that my personal limit would be the incontinent stage, but the move was a little ahead of that. I maybe should have drawn the line at fighting her into the bath because-wow-those were some battles. Anyway, I believe that she was content at the end. There was a man who came and sang on Thursday. My mom was like a teenage groupie during his performances. She had ice cream for dessert every night. She had no physical pain or ills of any kind. One day she just quietly slipped away.
I'm remembering her especially today.