Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." ---Kierkegaard

Follow the corridor that looks down on the koi pond and the garden. Get in the elevator. Don't bother with the barrage of confusing signs, just let muscle memory lead. You've been here before. Maybe six or seven or eight times in the past year. Who's counting. Walk past the life-size photo of the nun, past the skinny Jesus painting, past the seascape, turn right at the sailboat. Now walk to the end of the hall. Wasn't it this room where you had to be gowned and masked to visit Dan last spring? Now it's your mom's room. Don't be surprised. Yesterday she was in the very same ER cubicle (# 12) that he was in for his final visit. The day after Thanksgiving she was in #1, also a cubicle that Dan had spent several hours in. Maybe the universe feels you need to be reminded of all this for some reason. So be reminded. Go there. Let the past inform the present. Put your ear to its mouth. Listen.

My mom has pneumonia. She's in the hospital. Between the three visits I made there today, I crawled in my bed with my clothes on. I didn't really sleep. I didn't really read. I lay there, inhabiting a liminal space between past and present. Whenever I decided to open my eyes, I deleted old emails or read a few poems. Tonight I'm sitting in my living room, drinking wine. It's so quiet, the silence is roaring.

My mom seemed very, very tired this evening.

When I left the hospital the sky looked like this.


Elizabeth said...

Oh, Denise. Strangely, I've been thinking about you ALL DAY. Now I know why. I'm not sure why we're connected, but we are. I am sitting or lying beside you. Sending love and continued strength and courage and a giant dose of absurdity and hilarity.

lily cedar said...

Those old feelings that come back are hard. I hope your mom is ok. Or I hope your mom dies peacefully? My own father died of pneumonia after many years of liver disease that destroyed his body and then his mind. Sending hugs in this doubly difficult time.

Ms. Moon said...

I have had such similar experiences with the same hospital rooms. My explanation is that yes, we do create our own reality and sometimes we run out of ideas.
As you know, I am sure, pneumonia can be lethal in the aged, the infirm. Some call it "the old man's friend." I don't want your mother to die until you (and she) are ready but life doesn't always happen like that, does it? And she is a strong old bird. She may kick it and be back rummaging through your hidden wine bottles soon.
No matter what, you have been through too much in the past few years. How I wish I could offer you some bit of comfort. Words just aren't enough.
But please take comfort where you can find it.
I am loving you.

Andrea said...

Poetry and wine and rest have seen many of us through much in life. And each other. We have each other,and as you know we are with you to the extent we can be, Denise. I'm holding you and your mother in my heart.

N2 said...

Here's hoping that you can be with your mother when she passes. Remember to take care of you. Sending love and hugs your way. x0 N2

37paddington said...

I am thinking of you so hard and sending love.