A living will:
If I am ever incapacitated…
If I am ever chained inside my body or – God forbid – my mind…
If I am connected to machines to keep me breathing, and if I’m disconnected from the world that has kept me alive, please, please dear loved ones, know this – Know I am still here. I am still a part of this world. Do these things for me:
Take me to shows.
Live music. Loud, live music. LOUD.
The kind that keeps people on their feet, and it’s okay if I can’t be on mine.
The kind that makes them close their eyes, and it’s okay if mine are forever closed.
The kind that makes them go home and make babies, and it’s okay if I can’t do that anymore.
Take me outside.
In the sun, with a breeze, blue skies and the stuff of changing seasons floating through the air – dead leaves, pollen, snow.
If it rains, keep me there.
Let me feel the thunder and sense the lightening.
You know – I am an epileptic, and epileptics feel lightening the way people who are stoned feel it.
Or maybe that’s just me.
Take me to festivals.
Lots of people; the more, the better.
Let me feel the heat from the crowd, their creative tension and sweaty frustration.
Let them push me around and stare.
Let them lift me up and take me around on their shoulders.
Please find our friends, more and more of them, and have them drift in and out of our circle.
Bring a blanket, a cooler, a basket of snacks.
They are yours, even if they are no longer mine.
Take me to the garden.
Talk to me about the plants.
Speak reverently of the peonies that bloomed when they felt like it and not when I thought they ought to.
Laugh sweetly about the wisteria that drove me nuts – our love-hate relationship – how I kept chasing it away but it kept coming back and how, yeah, I know, it really is quite charming.
Show me the subtle delicacies, be tender with the hellaborous and bleeding hearts.
Speak softly. It’s okay if you think I can’t hear you.
Take me to Lake Martin.
Put me on a boat and fill it with my relatives.
Give my aunt a scotch and my father a Jack.
Let my brother drive and my daughter ski.
Play Credence, or the Stones.
Take us to the spot where we sprinkled Bob’s ashes.
Take us to the marina and buy us Elaine’s favorite flavor of wine coolers – “Red”.
If someone is back at the house, let it be my mother, and let her be cooking field peas and butter beans.
It’s okay if I can’t eat them anymore.
I am still with you.