"You need to rest. Rest is good Aunt Laura. You're set up perfectly here to rest. The girls will keep you comfortable," is what I came up with in response to what Aunt Laura was trying to say.
Aunt Laura's struggle to speak was sad to watch. I'd experienced end of life moments with my father, so the scene didn't throw me. But still it's odd and heart wrenching to stand watching life leave a blood relative. However at the same moment came a refreshing thought; half my genes are from the longevity hogging DeWees' side (Dad lived to ninety-three, Laura Wallace is his sister), while the other half are from my mother's side, the Masons, a blood line that has shown serious longevity of it's own for having sent many members deep into their eighties, and beyond.
Twenty-four hours after Aunt Laura's stroke, a nurse from the care home called and said Laura had regained the ability to move her left side, and she was sitting up and talking fluently. The nurse said Laura wasn't yet able to gulp down meals, but they were working on that.
The news was good, not because anyone would suspect Aunt Laura is dying to live longer, but because she had hastily repaired from the stroke to the point where she no longer had to struggle to breath and speak.
A week has passed and I've visited a flourishing Aunt Laura several times. She's bushy tailed as can be. She jokes, laughs, charms, and she's even taking nourishment in the form of ice cream and sweet drinks. Not the most nutrient rich diet, but what the hey, when you're 99, who's keeping track?
How long can a human being last without a steady run of healthy fuel? Who knows? All I know is, if we give the human organism the slightest chance to survive, it will utilize our efforts to the nth degree. What a machine.