God is it gorgeous today in Southern California. Nearly enough to make me fall in love with my hometown again. The hills are green, mountains that color that could almost be called purple (and, best of all, no smog so I can actually see them), and the sky is just brilliant. There are oranges on the trees, flowers in bloom, I’m sitting here between two open doors and it’s just so beautiful.
We are in that time, as a family, that is out of time. I suppose you could read that either way: living beyond time or living with little left. Both are true.
I’m typing this as a man sets up a hospital bed in my parents’ family room. My father will be brought home in a few hours, officially on hospice. My sister is enroute from South Carolina, another planning on arriving from Arizona tomorrow, brother back in town Saturday, when I am scheduled to leave again. But what kind of schedule can you be on now?
I’ve been here since Saturday; my father in the hospital since Friday (30 hours in the Emergency Room, if you can believe that). They’ve been making him stronger and the question is, for what?
I went to the hospital this morning to have breakfast with him while my mother took care of some business here, and he lies in that big old bed, a dark blue cap on his hairless head, his ears sticking out from underneath them and he is just so happy to have woken up one more day (though he doesn’t say so), but he gets this funny grin and I can’t help it, he looks just like Dopey, that silly little dwarf from Disney fame.
It is a new day, and he is home in that bed that the man set up, trying not to fall asleep because his good friend Bob is supposed to be coming over and he wants to visit with him.
I’m grateful, right now. Seems like a silly time to be so, but I am here, with my folks, my siblings arrived or arriving, and my father awake, knowing what’s coming, all of us knowing what is coming. This is an easy place to be, right now, the place without denial, the place of acceptance. The place of just being.
I should be stressed, as I’ve left my husband and kids to fend for themselves; I have deadlines looming for work yet to be done. And I stressed myself out greatly while trying to decide whether to come or not–whether to make the 2000 mile trek, trying to figure out if I could time it just right. Silly us. Trying to time death, trying to time life.
We laugh, here. We laugh about life, about plans, about whether we should do this or that when, as we live “out of time”, there seems to be no reason to worry about any of it. At all.
Of course, it is easy right now, because he is sitting up and talking and eating ice cream. And we have all slept as much as we could. And my mother is thrilled to have this time, right now, with him, eating ice cream at 10:30 in the morning because, and for no other reason, they can.