I haven’t posted for a while because my Mom was in and out of the hospital in the last month, and on January 16 she peacefully passed away. Free at last from the many years of struggle with her health.
It is strange how we create a routine out of the obligations of life. A pattern is shaped from necessity and reluctantly overlaid. Eight years ago my father died, and my mom asked me to come see her more often. At first it was every other week. Somewhere in there it became a weekly visit. Usually on a Saturday, I’d be up by 6am and on my way. The 2-hour drive a quiet pleasant meditation through lovely Ontario country-side. A stop for a coffee. Sometimes a pause for walk on a trail.
I’d stop at the grocery store along the way and get what was needed, And arrive at my Mom’s usually before 9AM. We would have breakfast, discuss what was new and news, make a to-do list of what needed doing, Check the sump-pump, change the filters, light-bulbs, garden, lawn…whatever. Somewhere in there the PSW would arrive and help my mom with her personal care.
Then my mom and I would have lunch, and we’d cook something extra for the fridge and freezer. Sometimes we would bake – tea biscuits, cake, cookies – so my mom would have goodies to offer her many guests through the week. Her local church/community was simply amazing for how they took turns visiting her each evening.
Sometimes I’d stay for dinner, but usually by 4 pm I’d be heading back on the trek back the other way to my own home. Back to my own to-do list that was waiting for me.
Yes there were times I would feel trapped by the pattern of obligation. Times I just felt too tired, too overwhelmed…
And still I would go – maybe shifting the visit to a Monday…
I am not writing this to grumble and brag. I did what I did because I was available and I could. It was my choice. I am writing this because it became such a part of my life that today, this morning, In this here and now of quiet reflection, I realize and I feel the empty space that is here and now. It feels odd not planning a shopping list, gathering the tools to bring, creating a menu, finding a recipe…
I am writing not to say what I did, but to say how much it is missed.
There are words inside me. And no one to hear them. They float on the tip of my tongue in swirling poetic tones. Waiting for the moment to arrive and launch their crisp sonorous meters into the air. I stay silent because I do not dare to break the silence when none are near to hear or care.
The ticking clock winds down past the hour into the next and then around again, clicking into the sunset crawling across the eastern walls of my living room. Gone gone gone much to soon is the charm of my youthful truth spilling out from my pain into the wounded evening light bleeding from behind the clouds.
And there it is then. The finality of the moment breaching the infinity of our progress into some other tomorrow we never imagined happening. It is always just there. Out of sight and out of mind. Lurking between here and the garden gate.
And so now I sleep. Deeply. Forlornly. Avoiding my fate. Avoiding the light. Avoiding the dawn that will rattle me awake,