Thursday, October 16, 2008

Time Crawls By Like Molasses

Early morning, little rest of late. Mom remains in Intensive Care with a machine doing her breathing for her, tubes encumbering any hope of comfort. IV’s and monitors, doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists doing their jobs like they do every day, like they’ve always done. This just happens to be my mom. It happens to be someone I love, someone I’m connected to this time. People all over the world wait at the bedsides of those they love, in hospitals of varying degrees of competence, and care. Some wait by the beds of family in huts in remote villages, in makeshift field hospitals, or in small rooms in small houses, in tenement buildings, with little hope of change, only the expectation of deterioration, as time crawls by like molasses dripping off an old kitchen countertop. My mom is in the care of good doctors, with qualified staff, and the best technology available to this kind of situation. Still, I wait, we all wait, for time to work it’s healing, for strength to return, for muscle memory to engage so that breathing will respond again. We also wait for the time when we would know that mom would want no more of these medically valiant, and heroic, efforts. We can only wonder which would come first, which would play itself out with the hand of fate, or divine providence for that matter. Continued life, we know, would be a temporary condition, and death, a permanent one.