Former columnist for the Los Angeles Post Examiner, the Baltimore Post Examiner, and Gatehouse News Service

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mary Helen

Still in Maryland, and it's snowing again!  This time, I dont feel the frenzied feeling of the first storm, but rather a "let it play out" attitude."  There are bigger things in life, and it's actually quite beautiful.  Sometimes we forget that.

I am in Maryland to help my folks with the snow, but also to help with my Grandmother, who is dying.  She is 91, and receiving hospice care at my parents' home, and took a turn for the worse yesterday, with a small stroke.  Another small stroke (we think) followed today.  She is frail, and pale, and seems tied to this earth by the slenderest of threads; her breath comes out in little wisps.  I think back to all the moments, as if in a slideshow, that we have had together; her teaching me to do ceramics, her explaining how to survive on swamp cabbage if you have to (she's an ol' country girl at heart), her holding up a turtle for my inspection.  She brought me to church when my family didn't attend, on summer vacations, and planted in my mind the idea of heaven, and what waited there.

The tables are turned, as I, whispering and holding her little hand, remind her what waits for her there.  It is so hard to let her go, but how lucky I have been.  How very, very lucky.  The valley between life and death is the lonliest place on earth for the watchers.  I can only hope that the valley that Mary Helen is in is anything but.

1 comment:

  1. I have to believe that the valley that Mary Helen is in is filled with all the loved ones she has cherished....and those have have cherished her...throughout her life!!

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