very present

sisters 1987

sisters 1987

Here I sit in the morning sun, the whoosh of cars beyond the windows indistinguishable from the rush of heat. This created sauna of over-hot apartment and sunlight steams me back into undress.

Despite single digits beyond, my temperature rises in inverse proportion to my hope. Hope that this time I can help my sister navigate her failing health. Why do I imagine that my stubbornness trumps hers? We are who we are, sisters in more than skin.

This gift of presence is my focus. Sitting with her, doing nothing. I entice with aromas that waft through her modest rooms. We dance with invitation, refusal, a tentative taste, a genuine smile, though weak. Moments pass between us. A memory flickers at the edge of a clear-eyed gaze. We slide seamlessly from symptoms to sorrow. She sleeps, wakes, shuffles slowly from here to there. We pass the time. Time passes, each moment a present.

[Thanks to today’s DPChallenge: write a post entirely in the present tense]

28 thoughts on “very present

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  3. sarah…i owe you my sanity…i miss u & the girls already . my love to all of u. ur words never failed to enliven & nurture a dying spirit. i’ll never forget any of u…c u soon.

  4. Sara
    Thinking of you and your sister. I lost my sister Becky Sept of 2012 to cancer. It was a gift to be with her and experience her journey. It was holy time for all of us. I can imagine you both, holding each other with compassion. Sisters are so precious, in more ways than one. Take good care

  5. That was a treasure trove of language. Thank you for sharing your life experience. It made me ponder on how my mother spent her days battling her cancer. I never had the chance to ask her.

    Thank you again.

    • Thank you for stopping by. It can be hard to really hear our loved ones when they are failing. Our own needs and fears can act as a powerful resistance to deep listening. One gift of aging is learning to move past personal resistance into pure compassion for other. Doesn’t stop the pain or sadness, though. Just lets you hold it all in real time.

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  16. Yes. I would love to leave it at that, but I will explain that both of my sisters passed away after spending years in nursing homes. So, yes. You have expressed these moments in a beautiful way.

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