This is day #6 of being with parent #2 as she makes her slow exit from this life.
It’s been an important and exhausting time. I am so grateful to be here with her, the woman who gave me birth. And, as anyone who has maintained a long vigil with someone who is very ill knows, it’s a challenging road.
Today I was feeling very low energy. I was tired, sad, overwhelmed. Are these the correct words? I don’t even know that I can accurately categorize how I was feeling. I only know that I was depleted.
Fortunately other family members were going to be spending time with my mother this morning, so it gave me the opportunity to indulge in some alone time. I am one of those people who needs a lot of time by myself, and I hadn’t had much solitude this week.
I walked to the side of my brother’s property and down the long leaf-strewn path toward the edge of a beautiful stream. I found a rock in a pocket of sun and sat myself down upon it. And that’s all I did.
I didn’t have the energy for anything else. I didn’t pray; I didn’t prod myself to change or shift or buck up; I didn’t try to figure anything out. I just sat.
I felt weighted. I felt listless. My spark was gone.
I just sat.
Gradually, eventually, the world began to work its magic on me. After maybe ten or twenty minutes, I had the energy to lift my head. I noticed more trees had changed color since the last time I’d walked to this particular spot. There was one tree with beautiful bright coral-colored leaves. And the sky was a beautiful cloudless blue.
I began to notice leaves dancing through the air, letting go of the trees onto which they had held themselves for many months, and spiraling toward the creek which gently carried them downstream.
I became somewhat conscious of the beautiful metaphor unfolding around me, but mostly I became aware that my energy was ever so slightly beginning to rise.
The world is a beautiful place. When I’m sad or tired, it’s harder to focus on the beauty. But it’s there, just waiting to uplift me whenever I take the time to immerse myself in it.
Can I help my mother release her grasp on this beautiful life so she can embrace the next even more beautiful one? I don’t know. That is my prayer. My prayer is that she be at peace with the change of the seasons. Not just spring and summer, but fall and winter, too.
We cannot stop the wheel from turning.
And there is no end in a wheel. There is only the next season.