My aunt Flora gave up her psychiatry practice when she was 64, convinced that she was developing alzheimer’s disease. When it became apparent that she was experiencing nothing more than the normal memory lapses of advancing age, she told anyone who asked that she was going to die any day, in her sleep, from a heart attack. She was as surprised as the rest of us when she lived through her 70’s and her 80’s. About four years ago, she started to have a hard time living on her own and a year and a half ago, her daughter Betsy moved her up to a nursing home in New York.
Three weeks ago, she started rapidly declining and on Monday, Betsy made the decision to move her into hospice. Flora died last night, at the age of 91. She was the last living connection to my grandmother and her siblings. We will remember by her energy, her powerful life force, her love of gourmet food and her shoes.