Woman, sixty, and still trying to get it right. Stumbling the path toward the Divine. Discussing things like grandparenting, Waldorf education, child development, nature, human awareness, empty-nesting, breast cancer, and knitting luscious things once in awhile.
Temple Lova Tiger Lily. Little Bunny Foo Foo. Makes my heart laugh. Brightens my day. The way she squeals my name and runs to me when she sees me. Makes it all good. Look who came hopping into my bedroom:
I just don't know how many times I make that call: this time is it. This time Mom is really ready to transition to the other side. She's back in the hospital right now. I sat with her today and there were so many clues. But I'm unable to trust my gut, my intuition any longer. My words have lost their potency, even inside my own head. Death is that elusive butterfly. Death is the gossamer veil. Mom has knocked on heaven's door so many times before, only to bounce back full force.
But Mom has never talked about death before as she did today. I sat with her for many hours. Fed her sorbet. Gave her sips of water and juice. Wiped her tears away a dozen times. In fact, everytime she spoke of one of my children her eyes teared. Everytime she expressed gratitude to me for being there, tears. She was as lucid as could be, but her body hurt, and it just did not work. Her Parkinson's has run rampant. When she told me she couldn't feed herself breakfast and her wonderful nurse today, Michael, came in and wanted to feed her. She said no, she wanted to try. He said he'd be back in 15 minutes. When he returned she was sitting just as he had left her, with a full plate. So he fed her. When she told me this she told me she felt like a fool. And she cried. She cried when she told me:
I think I'm on my last leg.
I really wanted to make it to my 90th birthday (April 29th). As if it was a done deal that she wouldn't.
I'll never see your brother again. I asked her if she wanted me to call him and there was an emphatic, "No."
I want to see a priest.
I want to talk to a lawyer.
Judy really yelled at me before she called the ambulance.
Linda (the caregiver who quit a couple of months ago because Mom was so bitchy to her) was so kind to me as I waited for the paramedics.
I just feel so sick. I hurt all over.
Your kids are so good to me. And then throughout the day she spoke of each one individually.
She cried when I told her that her little great granddaughter, Fiona, said, "I don't want Nanny to get dead. I like the way she smells." (First she laughed, and then she cried.)
She cried when I read her the two cards that came for her. One from her friend Jean. And one from her caregiver Susan.
She cried when she asked me to be sure to call her old school friend Mary Davenport and tell her she won't make the class reunion next Saturday.
We talked about my Dad and she said how happy she will be to see her dear husband.
I smoothed her hair and asked her if she was scared and she clealy said, "No. I was when I was young, but not anymore."
I feel like she has found a peace that is new to her.
So I don't know. I stayed as long as I could with the stomach flu and then had to leave. She cried then too and I felt so bad. I asked her why she was crying and she said she was sad because she didn't want me to leave. I said I didn't want her to be sad and I told her I'd come back later. She scolded me, "No you won't come back! You stay home and get some rest!" I told her I couldn't stand to see her sad and she responded, "Can't I just miss you? You get rest" Those words could have come from my Busha's mouth. Her mother. Once when she rested I was compelled to photograph her and send it to my cousin because Mom looked so much like our Busha.
I had to go to a couple of nursing homes to find a placement for mom in the next couple of days. Of course she thinks it is temporary but the doctors and social workers (and actually us too) all pretty much agree that she can't be at home anymore. She can't afford the around-the-clock nursing care she requires. It was a difficult scouting trip.
So I came home and called the church and told them she'd like to see a priest. And I called my best friend to talk about my fear that Mom would die alone with no one there. She reminded me that hospice workers always tell the stories of how the dying often wait for someone to arrive to die. OR, someone stays at the bedside for days, and when they run home for a quick shower the loved one quietly passes away. I've been reminded that Mom has her own God and I cannot control this spiritual event. Her exit to her God. Her ticket to heaven was purchased way in advance.
What I can do is pray for her release from her pain, however that may come. That either she gets well or she releases her painful body and soars free.
This being human stuff sucks sometimes. And all I can really say is,
As in moving truckin'. Exactly two years ago right now I returned to Sonoma from Chicago. At that time I was invited to move in with my sons until I got on my feet. Until I found a job and decided where I wanted to live. Well I found my job a few months in and it was 35 miles away. So I entertained the notion of moving closer to work. But Mom needed me here in Sonoma, and there was nothing I could find in Marin County that was affordable and bigger than a studio. So I lingered at the Mancave. The Mancave which became the Famcave when Camille and I moved some estrogen in.
Time passed and I lingered. It was easy. But a few months ago I realized that enough was enough. My gracious cubs kept mama bear around for a long time. But boys need to be boys. And girls need a clean bath mat and a whole night's quiet sleep. It was time to move on. And so that is what I am doing. I found a sweet little place on the creek in Glen Ellen. Sweet. Little. A quiet peaceful dwelling where the glass doors off of my bedroom open onto a deck above Sonoma Creek. Where there are white towels rolled on the shelf in my bathroom. Towels that will probably stay white for a long time. Birds singing and ducks swimming by. Nothing in the cupboards but what I allow myself to eat these days. My music fills the rooms.
And I move on with a heart full with gratitude for my sons who so lovingly and unquestioningly welcomed me home. I know the memories created in the Famcave will be dear to me forever. For a Mama to be that loved and welcomed by her boys.
So here I sit this morning full of grace indeed. I am graced by goodness.
Here is a photo I took early this morning outside my bedroom door:
There is simplicity in my life that I have not known before. I'm moving with discipline. Slowly. A box at a time. I'm sorting before I pack. I'm paring down in a great way. So far my new home is clear and there is an immense freedom in that. Oh so simple. Of course I'm sure in the eyes of the folks who write one of my favorite blogs: The Tiny House I still have a lot. But within my history I'm beginning to do it differently. There is something to be said about the clarity of less. It's not easy. There is angst when I rid myself of something, each and every time I discard I ask myself, "Yikes, will I ned that and only have to buy it again?" This is a developing practice for me. I'm not a good decision maker. But the results of deciding to let go feel good.
Looking from my kitchen to my living room this morning. And I will add to it thoughtfully:
I pray for the discipline to remain once "big moving day" gets here.
So good morning. Welcome to Warm Springs Road. I am happy and grateful.