I have to admit, I’ve been writing. My last, undergraduate class takes the cake as the worst ever…and a blessing. I sit in the darken room and just go. This is what I wrote today about last night.
“We have a bad track record with this.” I hesitated, not sure if it was a good time to make light.
“I know, we missed it by a few minutes last time.” Mom said and backed out of the garage, a four-point-turn no different from every other time she pulled away.
This is what my yoga teacher says when she tells us to live int he present, the worries are manufactured in the mind to could the current moment and remove you from truly living. No worries. Just breathe.
Last night the nursing home called, my great grandmother was fading. She only ever gets sick when no one is in town–my grandparents, my dad gone–leaving just my mom. As we sat by her bed and watched her curled up form breathe in and out with the oxygen machine, a form that once stood 6 ft tall, I knew nothing about her, but knew all of her, about.
People always ask “were you close” when someone dies, as if it matters. Everyday was a new life for her, the past forgotten, for all she knew, we had always been there–and her newness made us new, and I felt too as if I had always been right next to her. Removal does not make death any different–ever ordinary, never extraordinary. So I hoped to comfort her. All bone, I pat her femur and felt my own–long, unporportioned, yet when rooted in the ground made us taller than the rest of the women. Her breath quick, short, she fogged the oxygen mask and fretted.
Sitting there I felt the magnetism that flows in our blood and draws us near to one another, stuck in a moment of time, and maybe that is all there is, a few minutes, a few last breaths–but the draw, the energy field created between two people makes you one, for infinity and a day.
She opened her eyes and peeked at me. Scared, somewhat foreign, I just looked back at her–still.
“Happy Birthday GG,” we hadn’t remembered till we saw the sign on the door, “You won. You’re the oldest. 99 years young.” Another long 30 minutes and she would be 99 and a day. It was always a contest for her, this I knew and very little else, but because I walked in that night I would forever know all there is.
My mom and I, her too many times than you are suppose to, are the only ones in our whole family who have watched the death if someone who shares our blood. It is weird to be sitting there. Their flow stops and yours does not, though one of the same stream. My mom said that GG (great grandmother) planned this. As she always gets sick when only my mom can care for her, she had but one more month till she moved to Denver. As if timed, she grew sick when my grandparents boarded the plane to CA. On the way to the home, my mom joked, “I guess she had it out for me since she met me.” As she drove me late last night so I could get to bed, she said as I had believed before “she must have picked me, because I’ve done it before. I am the only one who could see it, who could stand it, who could tell the others and still…be.”
There was more, but I cannot type it now. It needs some revision, a little clarity, a little quiet time.