By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

My Mother-in-law's health continues to deterioriate.
Her birthday celebration last week was but a reminder to all of us of her fragile health state.
At ninety-nine years old it takes very little for a small downward health spiral to escalate into a full-blown life and death trial ... and that's now where we're at.
Stell is tired.
It's apparent to all of us that the "never-give-up" mentality so rigorously dominating her mindset and life has been overshadowed, overwhelmed, and replaced by a fatigued "ready-to-go-home, please-be-done" desire.
It's hard, painful, and hateful all at once.
To watch, witness, and observe the incremental but substantial decline in health.
Hmmm ...
Hospice suggestions are being presented and a full discourse of issues now openly discussed:
Fluid build-up around the lungs.
Bladder and internal infection.
Body and mind digression.
Slips and falls.
These issues and more now compose health realities.
Maybe this state will linger long and be prolonged, but none of us wish for this and we all understand.
Aging is a tedious business.
 Nothing matters more than the soul's preparedness ... and Stell's was made ready long ago.
Letting go is a mysterious, curious matter for all of us.
How we do it, when we do it, and the way we do it is different for each of us, but in our own way we each cut a swath of our own and walk through the grieving process.
In the hardest, darkest, and most painful of times, it's good and right to remember the very best of times of which there are many.
To be thankful.
And so last night, Scot and I laid in bed and rehearsed some of our favorite and most beautiful memories. We laughed and revisited beautiful places and considerable remembrances.
It was a lengthy process.
Negatives were cast aside and postives were reaffirmed.
The more places we remembered ... the more places were brought to bear and the list grew beautiful in the night.
Today when we go for a visit to see the beautiful woman who may or may not remember us, we love deeply and remember the "Stell" we always had with us.
Somewhere "inside" she's still there ... and that's who we choose to see.
Life is fragile.
Love is beautiful.
God is merciful.
Letting Go.
"You get old and you realize there are no answers, just stories."
-Garrison Keillor