Given the alternative, as many have said before me, growing old is not so bad.
What a choice, eh? But I want to look at that alternative for a momentthe one we don't mention in polite society. That is, death.
I'm not ready for it. I want to be clear that I'm not talking here about fear of death. It's simply that I am not ready yet. I will be, at some unspecified time in the future. I know I will be. And you'll be one of the first to know when I am ready. But my goal is to use up every piece of fabric, even the tiniest scraps, about a week (or less, if possible) before I die. And to use up all the Japanese paper, the handmade paper, the watercolor paper, the same way. To use up every skein of yarn. Every spool of machine embroidery thread. Every bead. You can see that it'll be a while yet before I'm ready. And I knowand you know (I'm telling the truth here as I see it)that I won't die until I'm ready.
And when I die it will be at home, in my bed, which has been my reading table, my desk, my nap-friend. I'll be in my bed and all my children will be there, and I'll be present, so aware, not frighteningly disfigured or wasted, just me. Just me there saying, look, see how easy it is. It happens to everyone. Nothing to fear. Let me show you how to do it. I'll be wearing a flannel nightgown. Unless it's summer. Summer is a problem. What will I wear then? I sleep nude when it's hot, and I can't quite see Naked Mom bravely sitting up in bed saying goodbye. I'll have to give that some thought.
I have a lot to do before I'm ready, and I guess that's good, since, as I said, I'm sure I won't die till I'm ready. Many years down the line. Oh, many, many years.
But when I do finally die, the world will say, "Oh really? I'm so sorry." And life will go on without me. Because that's what life does. It goes on.