“You folks have a good day. I’ll be back later.”
“Would she feel any pain?”
The footsteps stopped, backtracked from the door and returned to center stage where our eyes were focused, always focused. She paused and looked at the body draping over the soul that dared to speak. Quietly, she sat down on the corner of the bed.
“No sir, there, would be no pain.” For the next half hour or so, her quiet voice comforted, factually but gently, the saddened soul. When no more questions were asked, she patted the leg next to where she sat, my mother’s leg, and left the room.
Nothing more was said. I did not speak nor did my Daddy. No mention had ever been made of taking my mother off life support. His question, spoken with his soft southern drawl bellowed against the walls of the Hospice room where we sat with my mother.
The next morning, when I opened the door the silence was overwhelming. Never has silence screamed so loud. All life sustaining equipment had been removed. No ticking, whirling or pumping. Total silence. There sat my small father, in his chair, looking at my mother unplugged and natural. Neither of us said anything for a while. We just sat together.
“It was time.”
Hearts beating as they waved good bye were the only sounds in the room. It was in those moments of eternity that my spirit and brain fully embraced what it meant to sit with the stillness of your breath moving in and out.
Why, in the midst of a day that started with little to no sleep, at work at 5 a.m., guzzling more coffee than any human being should consume, in the midst of a corporate tug-of-war, this page should open I do not know. Life has a way of creating gentle breezes that act like invisible hands that playfully turn the pages in the book of life. When you least expect it, you notice you’re no longer on the page you were reading. You don’t know remember the page being turned. You were reading one sentence and now it has mutated into a different sentence, a different message.
To no longer sit with the shrouds of what were because they, well, because they were. To no longer sustain those bits and pieces of myself which have gone and no longer sustain me. To know the silence of love’s kiss good bye that is really a hello. To welcome the sitting, the empty room and know it is time.
[also posted on my blog]