31 January 2010

Family Illness, continued

Granny's life is at risk; she seems to me to be in a place she said she never wanted to be. Certainly it's changed forever. I can't foresee how it will be as it used to be for her or for any of her loved ones.

I walked to the hospital. Her family was gathered around her bed. Granny was tired; she moved her bruised hand when prompted. She closed the right eye she could open. She sleeps. Her right brain isn't in touch with her left body-side. Her right body-side creeps to the right bedside.

I sat in the chair on her right bed-side, and I put my left hand on the bed-rail, which helps to contain Granny, where her right hand might grasp the rail, so her hand falls on mine. I put my other hand on hers and we touch, hand upon hand, her hand sandwiched. She lifts her hand up, then puts it back down, so I put my right hand on hers again. I pray. She lifts her hand up, then puts it back down, I sandwich her hand again.

This ending, this winding down of a life reminds me of the births of my children. There were months of preparation, a winding up, in the pregnancy of an expectation, with no being yet, and then, all of a sudden, a child is born, and we are filled with a presence, a life, that is forever life changing. So too with this winding down, all of a sudden, a life is unalterably changed, a being is dimming, a winding down, our lives are unalterably changed, and I sense the beginning of the emptiness of the presence that will be irreplaceable.

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