Saturday, July 18, 2009

do not go gentle

I'm returning to the land of the living for a few days -- two weeks away at the drop of the hat leaves a lot of stuff undone. I'll tidy up, deliver on some things, then return to the west coast for a meeting and a drive up the coast to return again to Grama.

Unless an unwelcome call comes before then.

I left her in the hands of my dad (her son) and my extended family and her kind competent nursing staff who have taken to calling her Grama (after all of us calling her Grama) plus her very own dedicated hospice nurse. She's been semi-conscious for days, no language, barely eating, hardly opening her eyes, and I fooled myself into believing that she wouldn't even know I was leaving. Even though she calms down when the nurses are turning her and I stroke her hair and tell her just real quick, Grama, they'll be done in a bit. Even though last night while we sat alone when the room quieted after everyone went to dinner she opened both eyes wide and just looked at me a while with those same dreamy loving eyes she's always looked at me with.

I've never had a harder time saying goodbye. Because she did know, and she cried as I cried, and she grimaced with the pain of it and I kissed her again and again and again.

I've spent the last two weeks with her, 8 to 12 hours a day. And it wasn't nearly enough.

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