I am the short order cook for breakfast here. I’m usually the one cooking breakfast for mom unless someone else is staying with her for the day. I’ve had to begin to break up her food into smaller parts to make sure they go down the right way. I could just blend it all up, but I wouldn’t want to drink a sausage shake and I imagine she doesn’t either.
Two nights ago, I had to begin feeding her.
I know people that have taken care of their parents at the end of their journeys and they always speak of it as being a beautiful experience. I can’t exactly say the same. This has been difficult and messy and a world of sacrifice and heartache on everyone in the house except for maybe the dog who gets dropped a lot more bits of food on a more regular basis than before.
There have been moments of grace and maybe lessons altho I’m still trying to process the rest of that second part. At the heart of it tho, someone has lost the freedom to go and do as she pleases, live where she wants and eat what she wants. Confined to a bed, she listens to a Japanese radio station that streams out of Charlotte where she used to live; voices of people she knows but few of which ever call.
Getting old is not for the faint of heart.
So, I break the sausage patty up. It’s not nice an neat and simple, but a gritty, ground up crumble of meat and fat and spices and God knows what else. It’s not the most visually appealing thing, but it’s what works and so it’s what we need right now. This season will pass and when it does there will be both mourning and joy, regret and relief. Life is messy, but there is beauty in the mess.
At least I hope there is.