I am at a hotel, nearby the house where I grew up, where my parents still live, actually - where my mom still lives. My father passed away last week, or this week, time has been enormously distorted here.
We, his immediate family, spent his last 72 hours at his bedside, taking turns overnight, just being with him, talking to him, praying, blessing him, watching him struggle to breath, watching his spirit go, and then his mind, and finally his body.
We welcomed so many people who came to sit and be with him as well, or who came to lend their strength to my mother. They sit awhile and bring a new, quiet energy, an outside breath of air. We have been swimming is such a private, intense and overwhelming sea of emotions.
They have come even after his passing. Some to sit and visit. Some who help with the necessary work, or the tasks we do because my mother is a doer, not a sit and just be person.
Her sister came and has stayed, her sister who has always been her advocate, with no conflicting loyalties, squarely and solidly in my mother's corner. It's a support she needs, someone to assure her needs are not ignored as she is forever, first and foremost a caregiver.
The visits, the calls, the notes and emails and relayed messages - all help buoy us, they add needed energy. This surprises me a little. As a family of introverts, we are each accustomed to retreating and re-building ourselves. The connections each of us has made over many years are coming back to us.
Finally our families arrived, mine and my sisters. We are depleted and our own families renew us, strengthen us, and my mother as well - she soaks up the love from the grandchildren, the family together holiday, the full house.
Alone in the hotel room, my husband blindfolds and binds me. I am screaming in protest in my head; this is the wrong time, i'm in no good headspace, please no. But he uses the binds to force me to accept his touch, to allow him to hold me. He wraps himself around me and holds on until i start to melt. Until I can let go of the control I've been holding onto so tightly. I'm the oldest, the strong one, the one you want in a crisis, the rational decision maker. But that's not His me. He wants to hold His. And so He does.
It seems odd to me that i feel compelled to write here in such a time as this. I can't talk right now though - this allows me to measure my words, express myself without completely releasing my grip on the control i need. And it gives me the quiet escape the introvert i am needs.