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Reasons to die

Writing my columns I normally have to hold way back to finish under my editor's prescribed word count. With this column, I've repeated the same theme several times and have only gotten to about f400 words. I've searched my brain for ways to bring layers to my subject, but have come up with only one theme: confusion.

My dad spent the last 13 months of his 93.5 years of life in a nursing home, bent up, incontinent, unable to walk, and mired in a deep foggy dementia. Through it all he spoke with passion, ate like a lumberjack, and moved his arms (the only things he could move), with conviction and power.

The last time I left dad's room, I bent over him and told him I'd see him tomorrow. He was hunched down to the side of his bed, gasping for breath, struggling to live, but he still tried to answer me. To the absolute finish, dad kept his will.

Suicide disturbs the type of will my dad had, just long enough to prevail. How and why, I don't know. No one does. Still confused.

Rusty DeWees tours Vermont and Northern New York with his act "The Logger." His column appears weekly. He can be reached at rustyd@pshift.com. Listen for The Logger, Rusty DeWees, Thursdays at 7:40 on the Big Station, 98.9 WOKO or visit his website at www.thelogger.com

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