My mother was an optimist for nearly all of her life. Successively saddled in her last years with a stroke, congestive heart failure, and dialysis, she continued hoping to be dealt a better hand: hers included nothing worth betting on. But during the last months of her life she confided that she could no longer maintain her optimism.
Hers was the common story of a slip, a fall, a broken hip, and in the end, pneumonia. Like many old people (she preferred “old people” to “senior citizen”), she was helpless as her joys diminished. Her life became circumscribed.
[Images to follow are solarized to mimic an elderly person's failing eyesight.]