1601. A flick of the switch
© Bruce Goodman 26 August 2019






It would be so easy, as the saying goes, to get the doctor to simply “flick the switch” and Myrna would be freed from the burdensome duty of visiting her husband in hospital. He had been in a vegetative state for over a week now, and really it was easy to perceive that there was little hope. Even if he did come out of it, Myrna knew she could be burdened for many years to come with a person who needed care. Who wants to spend their life feeding an incapacitated person by hand who slobbers and dribbles? Who wants to spend some of the most productive years of ones life wiping a bottom? Yes, a flick of the switch was definitely the answer. It was the humane thing to do – sort of like putting ones cat down so it didn’t have to endure desolation while one went on an overseas trip of a lifetime.

It was not an easy decision of course. It was an onerous responsibility. Only last week Ainsley had said to Myrna that should anything happen to him she was not to feel hidebound into living a life alone. “Try to find a new way! A new life! You live only the once!” That positive attitude was so typical of Ainsley. Myrna knew that living out Ainsley’s prophetic observation was only “a flick of the switch” away.

The kindly doctor (he was marvellous! such a caring man!) had explained to Myrna that things were not as easy and straightforward as many thought. There was a good possibility that Ainsley would recover. And recover he did! Myrna was devastated. She had to phone Neville and say that her foray into matrimonial liberation had to be put on hold. Next time, he would have to do a better job.


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