The Long Unraveling: A Deeper Family

My husband as a newborn with his beautiful mother.

Today is my day to post over at A Deeper Family.
It is such a privilege to write in this space,
where honesty is encouraged,
and going deeper is invited.

The tension in the car is thick enough to choke on. My husband begins his litany of things-wrong-with-the-world, something he’s been doing with alarming frequency of late. It makes me tired. Long, loud sighs begin to whoosh from deep inside, as I sit next to him, at my perch behind the steering wheel. Finally, I decide to face into it more directly and ask, with the tiniest hint of superiority, “Can you tell me one thing you’re grateful for right now? Just one? All this negativity is exhausting.”
Silence.
We pull into the underground parking at the health facility where his mother now lives. She is 96-years-old, very frail, fading away like a mirage on a desert highway.
And this is the truth of it: we are waiting for her to die. There it is, in the harsh light of day, like brown, barren sticks in wintertime – we are waiting for her to die.
Perhaps that explains the litany, the sighs.
Twice each week, we make the 20-minute drive across town to sit with her at lunch, watching her not eat. Some days, we rouse her from a deep, gasping sleep. Some days, she is already awake. Always, we get the walker from across the room, remind her how to stand up, gently comb her hair and very slowly walk with her down the hall to the dining room. . . 


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