Let’s frame this, just so you see where I’m at in this “process”.
In 2018, after many months, off and on, of personal care by myself and my daughter, my grandmother passed away.
In 2019, after months of in-home care, my father passed away.
Now, my mother’s life is leaving her body. She’s at home where she wanted to be. We’re caring for her with the help of hospice staff that provides baths, checkups, and the supplies and meds we need.
I’m not a depressed person. I don’t cry. I do. But when there’s something I can’t fix, I get quiet. I look for outlets to provide me peace.
While she was in the hospital over the holidays, before they released her to come home to die, I cut and folded pieces of watercolor paper and banded them together with a rubber band. Then I sat down over several days and applied blotches of paint to the paper. When she came home, I began doodling in the times between I had to rise and give her food or water or meds. She was very demanding—not that I minded, because she and I knew what was coming. When she griped too much, I soothed or prodded her into laughter.
Now, she’s not eating. She’s barely drinking. I give her meds for her anxiety and the pain as her organs slowly give up.
And when it’s quiet, I sit and doodle.
I do this for her, because, guess what? She was a true artist. Her paintings and sketches are all over the house. I can barely draw, but putting color and scratches on a piece of paper is soothing for me. And I know she would have loved what I’m producing.
Here’s the cover…
And some of the pages. I’m not finished, yet. I hope there’s still some time…
I don’t mean for this post to be a downer. I’m generally a happy person. I laugh a lot. Still do. Even standing in my mother’s room with family, listening to her labored breathing, we find funny stories to tell about her. It’s at night, after I’ve checked on her, given her comfort, that I walk across the hall to her office and begin doodling, because I’m not ready for sleep.