Anna’s Eulogy

rest_in_peaceMy wife and I just returned from a two week cruise in Europe.  Shortly after we left, one of my wife’s sisters (will use the name Anna to refer to her) passed away.  She was seventy years of age.  Anna had a mental disability.  She was funny person and lived with frequent back pain.

I met Anna about forty years ago.  At the time she had the intellect of a seven years old child.  That did not changed with time.  Most of the time, Anna appeared to be in a good mood.  If you called her “Anna Banana” she would reply with a smile “<your name> Monkey”.  I did not spend much time with her.  She was most of the time alone playing in her room.

Apparently she did not display any symptoms when she was born.  After a couple years her parents noticed that she was not developing as fast as other children her age.  She was taken for evaluations to several physicians.  I did not know her at the time, but it appears that some physicians thought she had some mental retardation that came about without a known cause.  Others thought she was injured while in her mother’s womb in a car accident.  Others thought she was injured at or shortly after birth via an accidental trauma.  As far as I understand there was no shared decision on what caused her mental retardation.

Anna grew up in her parents’ house.  She had a person that took care of her most of the time.  Her parents spent time with her.  With time her father passed away.  After that Anna lived with her mother for a few more years until she moved to a group home.  A few years after that, her mother passed away.

Some physicians suggested that people in her condition would not make it to puberty.  Later they suggested that Anna would not be able to make it into adult life.  At some point physicians stopped forecasting her life span.

After her father’s death, my wife came to the conclusion that something had to be done regarding Anna’s welfare.  Living with her mother was becoming more difficult.  Anna needed specialized care and an overall better life.  My wife, against the opposition of the entire family, made arrangements so Anna would move to a group home that cared for people that shared her disabilities.

Anna loved living with ‘kids’ her mental age.  She had several responsibilities.  Probably her last fifteen years were some of the happiest in her life.  Moving her to a group home was a very good decision.  This became obvious when her mother passed away about ten years ago.

I have to admit that after she moved to a group home that was located in a town over an hour away from where we live, my wife and I did not stopped to visit her.  Some of her brothers did.  My wife would send her some clothing items and her regards.  She would call her on the phone.  My wife had a hard time spending time and talking with Anna.

Anna had an issue with her spine.  Apparently she had a couple vertebra fused.  This was the reason one of the diagnosis of her retardation.  The associated pain was probably due to an accident in her mother’s womb or an accident in her early life.  No one knew when that accident occurred.

I do not recall choosing when, where or the parents I was born to.  I believe no one does.  Is it just random or is there some selection that for some reason we decided and will become obvious to us after we exit.  No one knows.  Some people do not believe in a superior being (typically referred to as God).  Some people believe in an all mighty who created all things including the universe and all things in it (including Anna).  Perhaps the universe and what inhabits it is just one more science experiment which will become obvious after it concludes or we exit.  Our life might be just one more learning experience in some unknown chain.

Late in her life Anna developed some gastric issues.  Apparently aging is not kind to humans (or animals in general).  A couple months ago she underwent a very long surgery to her digestive system.  A side effect (brain clot) probably ended her life.  The day of her death Anna woke up as usual.  Had breakfast and took her prescribed medicines.  She then took a routine morning nap.  She peacefully passed away in her sleep.

I and for sure Anna do not recall choosing when, where or the parents we were born to.  I believe no one recalls that.  Is it just random or is there some intelligent selection that for some reason we made and will become obvious to all of us after we pass away (exit).  No one knows.  Some people do not believe in a superior being (typically referred to as God).  Some people believe in an all mighty who created the universe and all things in it (including you, me and Anna).  Perhaps the universe and what inhabits it is just one more science experiment by a superior civilization which will become obvious to all of us after it concludes or we exit.  If we would be aware there would be no point for the experiment since we would not learn from it.  Whatever happens:  ANNA; REST IN PEACE.

The Naïve American

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