My mother has taught me a great deal. In truth, she made me. For instance, one thing she imparted to me is my love of words.
Often the lesson was unintentional and came to fruition long after the lesson ended. Many of these lessons were finally understood while sitting on various pillows on my therapist’s floor. Others were simple sad/joy unexpected aha moments as I meandered through my days.
But now I am right in the thick of this life lesson. The lesson of death’s patience. Even after months of expectation, now with her gaunt skeletal face and withered limbs, unable to speak, to rise – her final passage still waits. As do those who attend to her. Our impatience with the unseen plan, suffering the guilt of selfishness in wishing her release, we try and make normal the visit, where normal does not exist. Yet death’s truth, the finality and reality of the eventual and its illumination on living, being normal suddenly seems unnatural, ignorant.
The lesson is the perverse savoring of a loved one’s life’s passing. The playing out of the conclusion of someone you have known intimately and whose absence will color the rest of your days.
Sitting bedside holding her hand, stroking her arm staring into her eyes as they bore into your heart, fading from conscienceness then returning. Sitting back searching her face for the words she can’t speak. Then there is the time outside the room, watching TV, cooking, taking a walk, always carrying the expectation, the guilty anticipation, the waiting, in your body. Exhausting.
Each morning a mixed feeling to see her eyes open watching.
But then she makes a gesture, a squint or smiles, and there is my mom.
I knew I had to be here. Selfishly I figured I could be of help. Turns out different.