My own pillow

I got home this weekend and slept 14 hours. My mother has been from critical care to oncology to inpatient rehab and back to oncology again (this time with pneumonia), all in less than two weeks. Went from 100% independence (home, finances, pets, shopping, cleaning – everything) to almost nothing – she can’t walk, write, stand, sit without help, swallow safely, talk clearly. She’s still cognitively on-board, which is just unbearable, I think.

I’m reminded of my grandmother’s death – she had a stroke during Jeopardy and died on the spot. She was almost 90 and living at home with my granddad — they were married for 70 years. He said she turned to him, said his name (Paul), held out her hand and died. All in the blink of an eye — he always described the transition from life to death as taking place in the blink of an eye — moving from a temporal state to one in which time no longer exists. He and Laurie had a lot of good wine-swilling late night jaws about the nature of life.

Anyway, there will be more to do for mom and the brother, and sleeping with my honey in our bed with my own pillow is a welcome break. I baked, watered the plants, praised the dogs, did some laundry, played scrabble with Laurie (I was a bad sport when she kicked my ass — sorry honey! — sooooo frazzled), and did my billing. All regular stuff, fortifying to have some usual routines. I sense that I will need to regroup again — hell, what is the meaning of life? Of work? Of love? Of family?

The sandhill cranes just flew past my window, coming down low on their way to the fields next door. Maybe they know.


3 Responses to “My own pillow”

  1. Life can really throw some tough stuff at you, can’t it? I’m glad that you have Laurie to come home to.

    If only we could choose our exit from life – I guess we’d mostly choose your grandmother’s graceful close – but we have nearly as little choice in how we leave the world as in how we enter it.

    “Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.” Dylan Thomas had it right.

  2. Hey, you, this is too sad for words. But keep spilling them. Your words are beautiful.

  3. Thanks, Ybonesy and Truce – That Dylan Thomas line has been with me quite a bit these past two weeks. I’ve got a thing about passion and attachment, a very non-buddhist belief that attachment is crucial to life, and that the time for detachment is when we are ready to die. In the meantime, have at it, fight for the life you want, says I.

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