28 December 2008

Time Stands Still

It's that time when time stands still. We're between Christmas and New Year's, between life and death. We've two weeks off of work and school.

I'm at my mother's house, with my sister. We left our various children home with their fathers, the aides have the weekend off, my brother and his wife have decamped to Canada until after the new year. Christmas feels like it was ages ago, and time is just standing still.

Pinky and I have been drinking wine, going to the supermarket, incompetently nursing our mother, and playing Royalty.

The phone rings, the doorbell rings, the kitchen timer goes off, and time stands still.

Moky sleeps, and we get her up for a meal. And then she sleeps some more. Sometimes she says nearly nothing and needs to be fed, other times she perks up and feeds herself. Last night she asked for a glass of wine, so we gave her a shotglass of the Fat Bastard. At breakfast, her toast was too crunchy crusty and she was having trouble biting into it. She looked up at us and said "get me my wolf". Humor still sneaks through the fogginess.

But it's hard to avoid feeling like it's a death watch. Time stands still.

32 comments:

alejna said...

Oh, Magpie. This was such a beautiful post, sad and funny at the same time.

I'll be thinking of you.

(p.s. I followed the link for "fat bastard," but couldn't find the lowdown. What is it?)

Vodka Mom said...

Damn that servant of death, he's always trying to break down the door.


thinking of you.

bernthis said...

I can't even imagine what you're going through. Your post was so eloquently written. Thinking of you.

Kyla said...

That sounds rough, with just enough of the familiar mixed in to take the edge off.

kathy a. said...

((((( magpie ))))) i'm glad you and your sister are there together, and that moky still finds humor here and there. she certainly knows she is loved.

time also behaved oddly for us when both my parents were dying. normal time was suspended; the timeline out of anyone's control. and along side the waiting and watching were SO many other pieces of time, crowds of memories from here and there, popping up unexpectedly and making us laugh like lunatics, or compare memories, or sometimes cry because some things will go unresolved. and/or, because it's a collective leap into the unknown.

but the love and the being there is all to the good. i'd argue that laughter and long talks and wasting time and hanging out is a kind of glue -- holding moky to you, and you all to each other, as things change. xoxoxoxoxoxo

Ree said...

You and your family are in my thoughts dear.

the queen said...

That was truly lovely, and so so true.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I have been there and you capture it eloquently. I am so glad you have your sister to share this with.

Mental P Mama said...

Bless her heart. And yours, too. Tough times, but you'll never regret it.

apathy lounge said...

Like Jenn said, I'm just glad you aren't doing this alone. I'm watching my mother and my cousin help my elderly aunt ease into the next world while two of her lazy-ass kids (one's a minister and the other's married to onej!!) do absolutely nothing. Sending good thoughts and strength your way.

Kyddryn said...

Oh Mizz Magpie, I'm sorry you're caught in this poignant amber time.

I adore Fat Bastard - that little hippo just makes me smile!

You're in my thoughts...

Shade and Sweetwater,
K

Kelly said...

Sigh.

Beautiful and sad.

Indigo Virgo said...

there is much, so much in this that is good, considering. In fact, everything but that elephant trapped in the room. It is good that you will remember some of these details. All I can remember from the time we (my mother, sister and I) went to nurse my grandmother who was dying from bladder cancer was how mad she got at me when I mixed her pain killer differently. Too bad I can't remember anything that was sweet or funny. Of course we don't want to stand by and watch, but it's often the only thing we can do, so we do it with reverence.

Mayberry said...

It really is a strange twilight time of year; and so amplified for you. Lots of love to you all.

susan said...

This is a standing-still time of year, generally, isn't it? All the more so for you. I'm glad you and your sister and mother are still finding some of the humor, and I wish something could make it easier for you all. Love to all of you.

Cold Spaghetti said...

Love that turn of phrase -- time standing still in the days between Christmas and New Year's. It's like our break to get all the family we can into this short time before everything starts up again. Hrumph.

Makes me want to DO something now. Not sure what or how, but something. Now.

slouching mom said...

much love and strength to you.

Julia said...

Surreal, beautiful, and sad. I am hoping beautiful sticks with you.

Library Lady said...

Just back from Christmas which was much the same as always and yet strangely empty.

Thinking of you and yours.

cactus petunia said...

Oh, boy. We're all of us dying and living at the same time. It's just that some of us are closer to dying than others. When my brother was near the end a couple of years ago, my niece and nephew kept a notebook of things he said during that time when he seemed to be travelling between this world and the next. On the first page it read: "He's here, and then he's there, and when he returns he gives a report."

Gotta Knit! said...

Sending a hug your way.


Please take time to nurture yourself too.

Angeline said...

oh girl, for moments like these...it does feel that time has frozen...

Woman in a Window said...

oh, magpie, it is standing still, isn't it? But how important is it that you are its vigil.

thinking of you and wishing you strength.
erin

InTheFastLane said...

Thinking of you.

Mad said...

Hey. I know today is your birthday. It is also the 9th anniversary of my mother's death. Life and death in tandem. Always.

kathy a. said...

your birthday? ((( magpie )))
xoxoxoxo

Aurelia said...

I'm here reading, hoping that you are okay. ((Hugs))

phd in yogurtry said...

If time has to stand still, better with some Fat Bastard going down. Hugs to all of you.

She She said...

I know this feeling. Standing still. Its' only later that you realize you were moving toward something the whole time.

MotherPie said...

Time does stand still at this time of year. Nice choice of words...

Enjoy time w/ family.

Janet said...

I can totally relate; have a glass of Fat Bastard for me, please :-)

Aunt Becky said...

I understand and I'm so sorry Magpie.