I have five glorious grandchildren, one of whom lives next door to me. Every Monday night Jess and Will have me into dinner and last night Jess asked “Grandpa, if you collapse do you want me to do C.P.R.?” It is not the kind of question one usually hears from one’s grandchild, but Jess is no ordinary grandchild. From her very earliest days she has had a deep concern for others – a classic example being that, when she was about three years of age, she came up to Marg and said of her older sister. “Grammar, Natlie has a ploblem”. I can’t remember what the “ploblem” was but I do remember being impressed by her concern. Today she is still dealing with people’s problems. Jess is about twenty seven years of age, an Occupational Therapist, and very bright – on the Vice Chancellors list at University and recently asked to do some part time lecturing.
What was my answer? It was “For the moment ‘yes’, and I’ll let you know when it is ‘no’.” Less than twelve hours later, I have changed my mind and the answer is now “no”.
There are a number of reasons for this:
(1) When I was in Iraq during the shock and awe bombing I remember a Doctor who bared her chest to me and tattooed upon it were the words “No CPR”. Had there been a tattooist handy I would have done the same! There is a time and there is a place.
(2) I am at one of those places. My memory is getting worse by the week and I now find myself gratefully being prompted by the person with whom I am conversing. It can only get worse. I can live with it for a while but the idea of an irrational existence does not thrill me. I do not want to live in a vegetative state. It would be a denial of everything I regard as “life”.
I will let Jess know of my decision – providing I can, of course, remember it! What a treasure she is!