Book Spotlight

Make It Wright


As a seventeen-year-old girl, I quickly discovered that I knew nothing about aging, wisdom, or life. I did, however, understand death, but not the processes within the realm of life’s end. The woman I knew and considered to be my grandmother lived 2 minutes and 38 seconds of walking distance from the front steps of my home where I grew up. From birth she was family, and I did not learn otherwise until my teenage years. She was the grandmother of one of my mother’s students. What began as a babysitting job grew into her love for my mother as her daughter, and my sisters and me as her grandchildren.

I was introduced to aging when a good friend of Grandma’s suddenly passed away. It was at this time that my grandma sat me down to explain the traumatic death of her husband and what it took to plan the ending stages of life and beyond.

Before any signs of dementia or of a deteriorating mind, Grandma planned her own funeral arrangements. There was tailoring the obituary, purchasing of the burial plot and headstone, choosing of the casket, and even the clothing she wanted to wear. As a seventy-nine year old woman, Grandmother progressed to a state in which she was no longer able to care to for herself. In the care of relatives who lived with her, she experienced abuse. Her home was burglarized and years of personal treasures were taken. Grandmother succumbed to a life of, practically, homelessness. On one particular Tuesday evening she was found 8 miles from her home by a stranger. He explained to me, my grandmother believed she was on her way to Sunday service at the church where we both worshiped.

One day, in Grandmother’s need for help, it became very apparent and clear that only blood relatives were allowed to make life altering-decisions. A police officer devastatingly told my immediate family and I to “vacate the premises immediately”. Heartbroken, I turned away but saw her give me a sign through her glance that she was afraid, and still longed for help.

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