I called my mother this afternoon.
At 98, she is bed-ridden, hard of hearing and, if the attendants' reports are to be believed, slipping slowly away. There is some thought being given to bringing hospice care to bear -- something more attentive to whatever pain she might feel as time passes. Her vital signs are good, her pain seems to be minimal, but the spirit is slipping.
My age and weaknesses make a visit to New York unlikely.
The aide put the phone to her lips. I could hear the aide saying, "It's Adam. It's your son. Say hello." I could hear the shift in my mother's breathing, as if she were making an effort to refocus her being ... and perhaps say hello. But in the end, the effort was too much: She couldn't do it.
So there was her breathing.
In the end, what is there but breathing?