My mother is dying.
It could be argued — and has been argued — that we’re all dying, from the moment we are born. That is our lot in life: to live and to die. (And, apparently, to get all philosophical when your mind and body are exhausted.)
Earlier this evening I sat on the window seat outside of my mother’s hospice room and looked down the hallway. It didn’t seem like a particularly long hall all the times I walked up and down it but there it was, suddenly larger and longer than life, stretching out into forever.
Someone brought a vase of sunflowers this morning. During the hours I spent in the room sitting with Mom I would look up and see those bright, beautiful, happy flowers sitting in the window.
I wish Mom could see them.
She can’t, though, so I told her about them. I told her about the trees outside the window and the leaves dancing in the wind.
I told her — many times — that I love her.
Her body is doing the things the body does when it is beginning to shut down. I read about this sort of stuff when I was researching. That’s what I do when I don’t know what else to do. I research. I read. I absorb information. There’s comfort in it. No, not comfort. Control. Or the illusion of control, because I suspect that’s what knowledge is sometimes — an illusion.
(A sunflower from our crop of sunflowers at home, taken a day or two before we left.)
I might take my camera with me tomorrow when I go back to hospice, to capture the sunflowers and the long hallway. Seems like there is some kind of connection between the two. I don’t know what it might be. It hasn’t clicked yet.
M and I are going back home sometime tomorrow. I don’t know how much longer Mom will hold on, but we have to go back to take care of some things. We left in the midst of stuff on Friday night. Life is messy that way, never quite organized to suit every occasion.
Well, the exhaustion just hit me over the head and knocked my thoughts — philosophical or otherwise — right out of my head. The only thing my head wants to do right now is relax on a pillow as I shut my eyes and try to get some sleep.
Oh, but there is one last thing. Something my father said. “We don’t want to lose you but it’s breaking our hearts to see you in so much pain.”