I’m not sure how I’ve missed this the last couple of years, but my writing companion from A Deeper Family, Heather King, has a lovely meme each Tuesday called “Just Write.” We are invited to sit and write out whatever is happening, whatever rises to the top. So, here’s what rose tonight:
It’s a gray day here, and a blue night. The fire is crackling in the corner — a gift of love from my husband every winter’s night.
And I am feeling the ache, the physical weariness of lifting, toting, sorting, sifting. And the emotional ache, too.
The frightened look on mom’s face when I got there on Friday morning. Confusion reigns in Mom’s world during times of stress. My brother noted that she was much like my dad was eleven years ago, when we moved them to that retirement community, the one we were moving her away from on Saturday. The one dad never wanted to go to, the one we hoped would bring my mom some respite from the never-ending care he needed back then.
But that rest never came. She did it all, finally hiring a strange little man to stay with dad for two hours once a week so she could grocery shop. And breathe.
She never really recovered from all of that. The exhaustion, the grief, the missing him.
And then, she began to lose her sight. And then my youngest brother died.
Now, I can see in her face, hear in her words, intuit from her body language — now she is the lost one, the one sunk beneath anxiety with a capital “A,” the one who can’t remember what you told her two minutes ago, the one who wants so badly to do it right, to understand, to ‘get it’ . . . but she cannot.
So tonight, I am in recuperation mode, remembering her silence on the long ride up here, hearing still the strangled question: “Have we been this way before?”
Yes, Mom. We’ve been this way many times. Many. But this may well be the last time, sweetheart.
Yes, it may well be.