“How old did you tell me I was?”
“You’re ninety-nine, and you’ll be a hundred years old on your next birthday.”
“A hundred years old is too old. I don’t think I want to be that old.”
“There are three other ladies in this nursing home who are older than that. One is a hundred three. We talked to her last week during your wheelchair ride.”
“How much longer will it be before I make a hundred? I don’t know if I want to wait too much longer.”
“It’s only one more month. I remember you said you had spiritual talks with your minister. If you decide to wait, I’ll get you a big balloon that looks like a birthday cake.”
“I guess I could wait. Yes, I think I will wait. That way I can celebrate my hundredth birthday. When I do get to heaven, I can tell everybody I lived to be one hundred.” And that’s exactly what she did.
Praise for Frances Shani Parker's book Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes from Roger Woodruff, Director of Palliative Care, International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, Austin Health, Melbourne, Australia
"A school principal turned hospice volunteer, Frances Shani Parker relates her experiences with dying people in nursing homes. The second part of the book is about what we as individuals and as a society must do to improve things for those who are dying. I particularly enjoyed the guided tour, conducted from a wheelchair, of Baby Boomer Haven."