What am I supposed to do on the night I am told my mom will probably die – “Hours. Probably tonight or early tomorrow,” the nurse said. I am not supposed to have this information.
So here we are. My brother is sleeping so that he can stay awake through the night. My dad just heated a cup of coffee and is now sitting with Mom. I, who can’t bear to watch her breathing hurt her so, am sitting here watching TV and writing, trying to live through the gift of words that I got directly from her. This does not feel like what one is supposed to do on the night when her most precious confidant and wisest advisor will leave her forever. But then, what am I to do?
So here I sit, a quilt Mom made on my legs. Mina is teaching Juliana to sew. I keep picking up the cross-stitch carousel that Mom and I have worked on together over the years. I sew a few stitches and put it away only to pick it up again. I could work on our fifth puzzle of this time, but sitting in the silence caused by the noise of the television is better. More complete. More solitary.
I don’t know how to do this, but then, I would not want to know how. In these moments, ignorance – painful, awkward, wrong – ignorance is the only grace.