aging gracefully…?

Consider the following:

My grandmother should’ve died after her stroke six years back. Lo and behold, after the doctors gave up, she came to. This was a matter of weeks, not days. Leaving her plugged in would’ve been prohibitive, cost-wise, in this country. Because she’s German, my aunt was able to afford a little hope.

In general, the German side of my family lives longer and healthier than does the American side. I would posit that the differences in quality and distribution account for this difference. Both halves of the family are pretty poor, but the German half has access to health care regardless. Over here, we run ourselves into the ground about ten years earlier. You know what kills my German relatives? Late-stage cancers and, in one memorable case, a reproductive system cancer my great-aunt was too embarrassed to have treated. They tend to be well into their eighties by the time they get infirm. My mum’s the most run-down of her cousins, aside from the one who died untimely in a motorbike crash (oops) and the one who drank himself into his mess.

And me?

I’m probably going to die of a toothache first.


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