Promise me the following:
1. When I am old and gray. When I am not working so well. When my body starts to fail and my mind starts to follow. Do not keep me. Do not revive me. Do not punish me. For that is what it is.
2. Do not maintain me. Do not plug me up to machines in a vain hope that I will become what I once was. If my life has played out to the point that the band has left the field, allow me to gracefully go with them. I've worked in too many hospitals and seen too many frail, ill, unhappy, older women growing beards and being used as rubber hose storage facilities to want the mysteries of medical science to allow me to live that un-natural life.
3. Do not let me go last. This, I ask more of God than of my family and friends. I see my grandmother. I see the looks on her face, the weariness of her body and the despair in her soul. Please, let me go first. Do not allow me to be so in love and so scared that I neglect the first two promises I ask others to follow for me. Do not allow me to keep my partner alive when it is evident to most anyone that it would be best for him to allow his passage.
4. If I am sick, and death is not impending. Take care of me. You are aware of that which I require. Bathe me, regularly - and by this I mean at least once per day. Style my hair - nothing elaborate, just something brushed, combed and sprayed so as not to invite rodents to inhabit here. Wax me - I realize this is a big thing to ask of someone, particularly if you're not female, but for the love of God, please remove the hair from those places you would not wish to view hair on women. These places may include the following: legs, underarms, upper lip, chin area, between the natural eyebrows, around the natural eyebrows to maintain shape, etc. The bikini area, I'm not so concerned with, I doubt anyone other than doctors and nurses would see this area and I wouldn't ask that of even a great friend. Make-up me - slightly, nothing Baby Jane-esque, just some moderate foundation, a light highlighting powder, a grey tinted shadow around the lid to enhance my eyes and a gloss on my lips. Finally, do not allow my ass to hang out the back of my hospital gown. There's nothing more embarassing than other people seeing your cellulited cheeks.
5. This does not follow the pattern of the previous. Be honest with me. I want this promise maintained throughout my life. When something doesn't fit me, let me know. If it doesn't look right, let me know. If I'm making a large mistake with even the simplest of decisions in my life, let me know. I may not always appear to respect your intervention or appreciate it, but I assure you that eventually in your life I will tell you that I did. More than anything.