love and loss

I drove seven hours and didn't make it in time to see my aunt. My cousin flew 12 hours and didn't make it in time to see her mother. It was a sad day - the hospital did everything they could but it was time for her to go. I had wanted a last squeeze, a last word: anything. But when we got there, her body lay white and still and peaceful. No more chances..for anything - for any of us. We stood and looked at each other in quiet hush of the late-night hospital lobby. We knew we'd remember this forever, this meeting of all of us on equal terms, and a glaring, radical departure into eternity. 

This morning, I'm drained and irritable after a sleepless night with my three year old. She had nightmares and I ended up in bed with her..all night...and she is not a snuggler. After clinging to the outer edge of the mattress as her feet pushed into the small of my back I was not happy to hear the other two girls rustling around at 5:45 "It's almost up, I can see it turning grey!" (the sun).

I stumble, bleary-eyed, to bed, passing Jeff as he heads out to make breakfast while I try to catch 15 more minutes of sleep.  I struggle with my attitude as the perpetrator of evil slides into bed next to me, her little feet against my back the same as they've been all night long. 

But still, she's there, against my back. Warm and hot footed. I get her here with me in my life for...how long, I'm not sure but I hope it's forever.

I think about her as I write. I'm tired and unfocused. Her inability to sleep has sapped my creative energy and now I can't concentrate on getting this done and out of my head. I think about my song, the perfect words, the melody line, and I'm too tired. I can't be there today, in my writing head, even though the last week has left me churning with an anxious need to put something down into reality.  

Then I think about the different parts that make up the whole of us. One part mechanical - the habitual, the rote. Another part creative - we dig into that one with breathless fervor. Yet again - the poignant, the merciless beauty of love and loss that come on us quick and harsh - the moments that etch themselves into our minds for us to replay again and again.

We are made up of so many complex things; it's a wonder that we can even get through the day. So I put down one line and then leave it. There will be other days to do things. I will embrace what is in front of me because she won't be there forever. My little piece of heaven snuggled up next to me. 

Posted on March 4, 2013 .