The old noggin is thumping with what could be called a headache for the past couple of days. Wed night I went to see Auntie Margaret who is now in hospital--palliative care. I think that's how you spell it. ANyhow, it's the one where you dont ever leave.
As we walked into the hospital lobby, my stomach started to burn so bad, I went through half a pack of rolaids on my way to her room.
This hospital is different. It is really quiet. Even the guests are dignified and respectful of each other. No one was moaning from their room. the lights were dim. In Auntie Marg's room, she was sleeping with her mouth wide open. the light was a homey light, like when you have the stove light on in the kitchen at 3 in the morning and you are fixing yourself some warm milk.
Mom and I sat there and talked to her. But we didn't talk about it. I mean, you either talk about it or you don't talk about it. So we talked about Wawa. And her uncle Emo and banana bread. I looked down and there was her bag of pee. And her mouth was so dry, and she was in so much pain from lifting her head to kiss me, she was trembling.
this past weekend, her last weekend at home (her home for 35 years), with only her and uncle Jack an no nurse, she had vivid, morphine dreams that she described to me and mom. There was a terrible lady at the door. In the house. For some reason they were renting out a room to a woman who meant to do them harm. Marg shouted for Jack who got up and came to her bed in the living room. Jack! she shouted. Put her back in her room! Keep her there!
And I am a terrible vampire writer, because as much as I found it a frightening, sad story, I also found it beautiful. I imagined the nightmare woman as the crone. She is not something other. She is us. Eventually, you have make room for her in your home. And she won't stay in her room.