In the middle of the night, awakened by whoever is the insomniac soul who lives next door to my little guest room nest at Mt. St. Vincent’s. S/he had turned on the TV to some old movie. Murmuring tones of excessive, dragging politeness penetrated through the walls. I could almost, but not quite, make out the words.
Reminds me of Dad, who almost, but not quite makes out our words, even when we repeat them, louder and louder.
We just got back from breakfast in the cafe, Dad in his wheelchair, Mom with her walker, and me. He ate heartily, filling his 6’2″ frame now swollen with edema, with fruit, eggs, toast, bacon. Now they’re both back in their cushy chairs, and, remarkably, 15 minutes after planting themselves there, they’re both asleep, with Fox News scrolling across the screen.
Just now, from him, these words, while sleeping: “Yep. Rabbits.”
Bending over to put both their socks and shoes on this morning. Kneeling there, in the perennial posture of the caregiver. So foreign to me, and yet so natural. Tending to the folks who brought me into the world and who made sure that I was safe until I flew their crowded coop.
Last night, when they wanted to pray the rosary, instead of staying in the same room and pretending, I told them I’d be in the next room, where I flopped on Mom’s side of the bed and continued my reading of the hilarious, gut-wrenching novel “Moo” by Jane Smiley that details the oh-so-human shenanigans of those who corporatize agriculture and academia and drain them both of organic life.
In the next room, her murmuring, “Hail Mary, full of grace . . .”, then his, “Holy Mary Mother of God” — over and over again, fast, practiced, like little robots, getting through it, getting it over with, getting clean with God.
Meanwhile, I love them, I love them.
Oops! Time to take Mom to her weekly hair appointment.
Going through the halls.
Here’s the bulletin board showing the Sisters of Providence of the West when they were “inhabited.”
And here’s a poster featuring Intergenerational Art.
If you recall, Mom created this astonishing painting in this class during my last visit, about a month ago.
Now Mom has times when the top of her head hurts. I wonder, on a spiritual level, is her soul getting ready to blow through the crown chakra and encountering resistance?
Here she is, in the chair, keeping her weekly appointment, Friday, 10 A.M.