For some reason the first part of this poem has been on my mind for most of the day. Maybe because it makes me smile and think of my mother in her heyday...
I Knew a Woman by Theodore Roethke
I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;
Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:
The shapes a bright container can contain!
Of her choice virtues only gods should speak,
Or English poets who grew up on Greek
(I'd have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek.)
There's more to the poem, and I love it for all sorts of reasons, but that part just reminds me of her for some reason.
Today, started out a bit roughly for her, as she woke with a fair amount of discomfort. The nurses prompt attention to the pain meds helped a lot and made her comfortable. Of course I woke up with her and could only rub her back and gently brush her hair from her forehead. That terrible feeling of helplessness is not usually a great start to the day.
With T gone back to Greece (well, still in transit this morning our time) middle son came for a fairly early breakfast (just after mom was settled down and comfortable) bearing fresh croissants. Discussions ebbed and flowed and gently touched on decisions for "afterwards".
As per her wishes we needed to look into cremation- a subject fraught with landmines and potholes for the unwary or unprepared. We opted to go with the place that gave us the most information (and provided - on request- a detailed price list of optional services! They also broke down what the law required and what you could provide instead of their optional somewhat expensive products.)
Still, in a cheerfully macabre sort of way, their motto "Think outside the box" did get an inadvertent chuckle out of me.
Youngest son arrived shortly before noon and handed me the keys to the family car and told me to go do my laundry, take a long hot shower, have lunch and take a nap.
So I went back to my mother's apartment and did my laundry, raided the freezer (Stouffer's is WA-ay better than the hospital cafeteria!) and had a delicious glass of pinot grigio that had been conveniently left in the fridge. I took my shower and managed a bit of a doze, though not a full scale nap, while waiting for the dryer to finish, instead of sleep, I opted to talk to my oldest son in Michigan, and then T in Greece just before he was going to collapse in bed after his long trip home. I also touched base with both other sons, so I felt well rounded.
Of course, spending most of the day in my mother's apartment reminded me of her everywhere I looked. I had been living with her before she checked into the hospital, so all my stuff is still there.
Still it was better to remember her tottering about in her apartment (forgetting her cane whenever she went from one room to the next), than to see her in the hospital bed every day.
What can you do?
I got back to the hospital at around 5:30 and felt refreshed and ready to continue on,
as one must;
as one does.