A long goodbye

As I sit by my mother’s bedside, stewing about whether hospice care is a great mercy or an unnecessarily lengthy ordeal for both patient and family, I don’t feel capable of writing a blog post.  Hospice definitely makes for a long goodbye.

Thankfully, my friend Barbara deMichele presented me with a poem she had just written and has agreed to let me publish it here.

Glancing Thoughts While Waiting For An Injection

I’ve become a holder of newborns

A Grammy.  Great Aunt.

Unable to move, no control over their necks

Or backs, or arms, or legs

They lay their heads in the crook of my arm

Unfocused eyes darting and landing and darting again

They warm my breast, the feel of their fine round skulls

Beneath the feathery hair.

“Horrible,” my doctor says.  “Horrible arthritis.”

Horrible.  Horrible, horrible. Horrid.

Already the titanium knees,

the vague complaints in my hips,

the damned calloused sole.

And now this wrist, crumbling from the inside out.

The doctor readies the steroid injection, taps the syringe

And all I can see are those dear sweet eyes

Open for the first time, already wondering.

And when my time comes, body turned back beyond my control

Where will I lay my head?

And who will hold me?

About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness. Also, I'm on the third draft of my second novel since retirement.
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1 Response to A long goodbye

  1. Karen Clark says:

    It was almost two years ago that I sat with my Dad in hospice for the same long goodbye. I understand the mixed emotions I know you have right now but I do believe your Mom knows you are there with love.

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