Sunday, November 28, 2010

Magic Wand Anyone?

I hope the shock on my face wasn't projected through the room when I saw her.  

Always a strong woman, for as small as she is, she always seemed larger than life.  A free spirit who lived, it seemed to a degree, by the seat of her pants and was the epitome of "just do it."  It is only recently that I realized that I am taller than she.  In my head, her presence, her strength, she was always so ...

Big.

Just a few weeks ago, she was in a bed just a few doors down from the one she is in now.  But she was still that tremendous presence. The laughter rang through the room as we all talked about so much.  It was only a small set back.  Easy to overcome and be back, larger than life in a short jiffy.

Today, I was shocked at  how pale, how fragile, how frail she looked.  I could look past the drug haze, but still, the reality of the situation was palpably clear.  She was Pale. Fragile. Frail.

Small.

I didn't feel this with my own father.  I watched him whither down to nothing, but it still felt as though I were an outsider.  Someone allowed in on occasion, but not truly intimately involved in the process known as dying.  That was mostly my own doing, and I blame no one else for that.  

Now....  now I am intimately involved.  Two women that I hold in the highest of esteem are hurting, each in their own way.  I step up.  I give a hug.  I listen.  I engage.  

I hurt. 

Do I have a right to hurt?    Do I have a right to feel this badly?   She is not my mother.  

But she is someone who means as much to me as a mother could.  And in many ways, more than my own mother.  Over many years, she has hugged me, kissed me, confided in me, and listened to me.  We have laughed and cried together.  Shared and complained together. 

And my dear, dear friend; her daughter... how she hurts.  She has been there for me in my worst hours.  Do I have the courage, the strength and the stamina to be there for her?

I have always admired the relationship the two of them have had.   It is a mother daughter relationship, but it is also a true friendship.  I have watched them laugh together, cry together, and stand solemnly together.  

As the reality of the closeness of the future becomes clear, the hurt grows.

The pain exists on so many levels.  So much left to do.  So much left to see.  So much left to explore.  So much left to be a part of.

So much left that will not be gotten to.

It hurts to see the pain.  I want to wrap my arms around them  and make it all go away.  I want to say that there will be that one more thing that can be done.  I want to come up with the magical answer that turns everything around.  

I want the pain to stop for all.

But no matter how much I hold either of them.  No matter what research I do.  No matter how many stones I try to look under.  The magical answer isn't there.

Goodbye is all that is left.

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