Sunday, April 27, 2014

Just be


Sleeping with my mom this time, I feel the bed quiver all night, her hands jittering endlessly, electrical currents of some sort coursing through, her legs making small continuous kicks, her whole body spasming. I lie face to face with her and cover her hands with my own. Slowly the current traveling through them simmers, and her hands alight on the sheet like crooked birds, the tremor just a hint now as her breath deepens, as dreams take hold. In her sleep the jittering comes and goes all night, but she doesn't awaken. I barely sleep, aware of the constant pulsing of current through her body. This is completely new. If I lift my hands from hers, her forearms rise stiffly into the air, of their own accord, the fingers askew, and still she sleeps, hands fluttering.

"Just be there," my husband says when I describe this new state of being to him. "Don't worry about next. Just be there now."

And so I am.

Yesterday, I was distressed, still getting used to the newest incursions of age, not close to being at peace with the fact that I can do nothing to arrest its march. Today feels different, each minute a new blessing. I feel a deep sense of gratitude that I can be here with my mom, just sitting with her with no agenda, talking sometimes, silent together sometimes, massaging lotion into her hands, helping them loosen, relax, and playing songs she loves on the tiny remote Jambox that belongs to my son, which he allowed me to bring so that I could play music for his grandmother with pure rich tones.

She lies all the way back in her recliner, listening, tears at the corners of her eyes.

I don't want to make you cry, I tell her.

She waves a hand, unable right then to form the words she wants.

Are you crying from sadness or from the music, I ask.

Joy, she says. The pure beauty of it. This is what I needed.

Well, cry then, I say.

Oh, she has been a wondrous mother, and it is not just nostalgia that makes me say this. I know how fortunate I have been. Being here with her right now is a mediation. I have to still my restlessness, quiet my racing thoughts and just be here as my husband says, just be here, just be.


16 comments:

  1. In agreement with your husband, be there for her and don't worry about next. The memories of being there for her will help to sustain you when you need it most.

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  2. I am crying a little bit. From the ALL of it. The joy and the sadness.
    Your husband is right, of course, but for some of us, "just being" is about the hardest thing there is. I hope you have great pure moments of it.

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  3. I feel the same as LindaRe and Ms. Moon. I have a tears from how you so beautifully wrote this. Just be, just be.

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  4. I really wonder what those "currents" are, but you've mentioned that she lives with two doctors, so I assume it's all on par with aging or something not serious. I feel like I am right there with you, when you type. I really do. I am not quite there with my mother, but I am seeing the first twinges of aging with my father and I am frightened at how intensely vulnerable that makes me feel. Just being is the perfect advice for it is the ideal way to handle this (and most, I suppose) situations in which we have no control. I don't do "just being" very well, since I've practically made a life major out of Thinking About Tomorrow. I am glad you are there.

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  5. I just love what your husband said -- what a man. What a woman you are and what a daughter. And your source? Your mother? She pulsates even at the end --

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  6. "Just be there." What sage advice from someone who knows and that is exactly what you are doing. It is a difficult time and a tender time and time you will never ever regret taking. Thank you for sharing this beautiful love with us. Sweet Jo

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  7. And I add my voice to the rest - just being there, in the now.

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  8. This is beautiful, Angella. We could use this lesson each day. I love your mother's hands, the light on them. Take care - in every way. xoxo

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  9. Catching up with you today...so glad to find you there with your mother. Such tenderness.

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  10. Your mother is so lucky to have you there with her right now. So glad you have the time to just be with her. Hold on. x0 N2

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  11. Oh Angella, how beautiful, how perfect for you both to just be there now. This is the way. Those joyful tears are so intense, so powerful, there are no words. Just being. Sending love and light to you both.
    xxoo

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  12. I'm glad you are there. I am sure it was initially distressing, I'm glad if it's becoming less so. Love to you both, my friend.

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  13. I love your husband's advice. I read this post early this morning when I was getting ready for work and his words have been playing in my mind all day. Tell him thanks and thank you for sharing.

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  14. Oh, thank you for this post. Yes. Right now is the place.

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  15. what a gorgeous piece of writing; what a gift ... and a giving.

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  16. It sounds like you're appreciating all that there is to appreciate. You're in the right place doing the right thing.

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