The world doesn't stop spinning just because we want or need it to. In fact, it seems to almost speed up instead. Something, which I was cruelly reminded of this morning when my mom woke me up, tears all but standing in her eyes.
“It's just a matter of time, love…. there's nothing they can do”.
At first I didn't have a clue what she was talking about. Was it my granddad? But he seemed fine when I saw him yesterday? Who then? Then it hit me.
She was “just” hired help. But she watched me grow up. She grew to be almost part of the family while working for my grandparents. She put band-aids on my scraped knees when I got overeager and hurt myself, trying to “help” with something in the shop. She helped me with my homework. Her daughter dated my brother for a while. She brought us cards for christmas and birthdays… She was a constant source of stability, support and reliability when my grandparents got too old to really handle the shop on their own, and so helped them keep it until they were ready to let it go and retire.
Lately, she hasn't been visiting as much. She's been pulling away. Breast cancer struck and first took her away from her circle of friends, then distanced her from her husband… who still struggles to be allowed to stay close. No one is really able to reach her anymore. Not even her own mother. And today the phone call came… it's in the liver, in the brain, in the glands… it's everywhere, and there is nothing they can do.
This beautiful woman is withering away in her recluse with denial as her one close companion. For all our efforts, wishes and good intentions, it remains her choice. And now, it is just a matter of time. Her time. Her life.
So we wait… with her. As best we can. Take the opportunities she allows us and try to do our best to respect her wishes as best we can. May it be gentle with her even in its ruthlessness.
May she find peace at last.