Saturday, October 17, 2009

When Life's Collections Become THE BED

You spend your entire life collecting
and selling.
Antique searches.
You collect bears.
Lots and lots of stuff.

You accumulate so many precious desirables within your home.
Your home.
Filled with teddy bears happily gazing upon the stars that shine through the white colored lace curtains, that hides the peeps from outside. Only the Angels and Him are able to see within that window. But from within, from inside, the teddy bears see out. They see day. They see night.

Each room a place to rest a beautiful trinket.
Ready to sell, show or swap.

Years of this.
With your partner.
Your spouse.
Kids raised.
Living scattered across the US.
Even Grandchildren a part of this picture now.

Then, before you know it, the trinkets turn to "stuff."
Just stuff.
The bears have to be moved out of the front room.
The room that shows the most sun.
The room that allows the sweet angels to see within at night, as those worthsomething bears. All the trinkets and art and rare finds will have no choice but to remain silent
remain silent and stare blankly out the window, beyond the curtained veils. Wondering when it will be that time.
When the knock appears as the final cough that fills up her lungs.
When today turns to the last one.

Soon, the couch is moved out of the way and before long they deliver the bed.
The bed that will be the spot that the house dweller will remain, until she goes.

All those years in that beautiful comfortable home.
All those years, those seasons, those milestones.
All those trinkets that suddenly stopped mattering the moment certain words are shared with you;
"there's nothing we can do."
"hospice is wonderful!"
"it's terminal."

Suddenly all those adventures to buy things for nothing and sell for something stop mattering.
Suddenly all those trinkets collected are now looked at as a chore just waiting to happen-when dirt helps dust return the Soul to the Sky.
Such a mission to move on when there's so much to pack.
To sell.
To donate.
To distribute.
Just things.
Just stuff.
Stuff doesn't speak memories, your mind does, after all.

So now, a room that had so much light, and so many trinkets has been all rearranged.
To accommodate the last trinket that will enter the house:
The hospice bed.

The room still has her amazing light. The curtains are still white. The bears moved into other rooms within this lovely old home. But suddenly it's all different. The focus completely shifted.

For she lays there. Unaware of all the trinkets. She lays there sad and scared. How quickly this all happened. Two weeks ago it was "see an ENT." Now it's "there's nothing we can do."

Now, the center point of the room is the person that will soon no longer be with us. No longer a physical presence. No longer a living relative. No longer a living wife. No longer a Living Mom. No longer a living Grandma.

Soon, when it is time, and time is never determined when terminal and hospice is given, she will leave the center part of this room. The chairs that surround the bed will return to their places. The Kleenex boxes and all the pretty flowers will be thrown out. The sound of the oxygen running, will no longer be, and all that will be left are the footsteps of yesterday that this woman carried.

The spouse will have no choice but to leave. Too big a house, too many memories. Forever loves. Now, soon, too hard a memory to face alone. For that will be how he manages it. Some stay. Some runaway. No rules when it comes to saying goodbye permanently.

She is the center of the room. She that is fearful. She that is tearful. She that is aware that she is unaware. She that is sad. That she is scared.

Feeling the salty drips of the tears, her husband and children and family members let escape through their eyes. The tears of her remaining living members that fall near her pink pillowcases. Her soft, oh so soft skin. Her salt and peppered curled hair. Her face. Her eyes. Her body. Her sheets. Her body that has shed so many pounds in so many weeks.
Frail eyes no longer able to be opened without help from her living family's finger tips.

For she is dying.
Yet another death to experience, within my family.

When the bed is gone. When she has left us, the room will rearrange itself, selfishly as if the bed never existed. But the bears. Her favorite collections, will remain where they were moved to, until they are sold.

No matter where you are.
How big your house is.
How many things you adore to have,
when it is time,
when He gives your body time for all your loved ones to say goodbye to,
(if you're lucky to have that)
and you are given the chance to return home for sometime, suddenly all those things that seemed important, won't.
For it will become a bed in the room.
That will be the importance.
Not your art work.
Not your shoe boxes full of bank ledgers from 20years ago.
Not your stylish eye that you see with your furniture.
Not your shoes.
Not your nailpolish.
Not your music.
Not your Foosball table.

None of the materials will matter in any ones life, the moment you come home for everyone to say goodbye.

When the moment happens.
That moment when the hospice bed, becomes the last collection brought into the home that carried a life of children, memories and love. It's a moment many experience. Some, however don't. But when you witness it, you'll know what I mean. Even if it means witnessing it from words on a computer screen. When you see that all those silly things suddenly mean nothing. Most of you, if you live within the home won't spend your time focusing on those things, until after your loved one has gone. Those things so easily moved out of the way, so that the important thing, the center of the room, Her bed, will become the focus as you hold onto her hand when she breathes her final breath.

May pain be less.
May hearts ache with sorrow and hidden happiness for the memories that were given to us.
May her daughter not feel alone, and remember she has a large family to lean on.
May her husband's heart not break, may he not feel so lost.
May his dreams provide comfort, his heart feeling relief.
May her sons grieve with their wives.
May they help their children, as they cope with missing their grandma.
Who always said, they were the lights of her life.

May her soul dance in heaven, her ears hear the songs of the Almighty.
May her heart join her brothers, her mother, her dad.

May time be swift in allowing her to go-
May we remember these lessons for the life that we may hopefully still have.
For when it becomes our turn to go.


Jamie said...

A beautiful reminder E. Thank you. Think I'll go cry now. Hugs.

austere said...

peace,my friend.

Karen said...

I've said it many times before, you are a wonderful writer. That was beautiful and I cried as I read it.