Borrowed Life

Photos courtesy Ingrid Von Sierakowsky

Photos courtesy Ingrid Von Sierakowsky

Once again I’m bearing witness to a life holding on to a delicate thread of time and space. As a caregiver i lend some of my time to people who are at the end of this borrowed time. There’s no need for tears yet, we try to borrow time as much as we could, spend as much time as we could to this life in our hands here and now.

She asked for spaghetti yesterday morning, woke up so hungry she said. Without hesitation I gave what she wanted, her body trying its best to also borrow more time. Perhaps it would help. I tried to be optimistic, after discovering herself that she even forgot how to chew, a task she hadn’t done for almost two years except drinking liquid, I said I’ll give you a bowl of soup next time. Maybe she said, she’ll try.

Her life is in my hands not so much as to heal but to giver the physical comfort her weak body demands from minute to minute. A warm daily, bed bath and a fresh beach towel after, a pillow here or there, the movie that she loves so much, “You’ve Got Mail”, ginger ale, or coffee or ensure, whatever’s in my hands, I’ll give it to her.

Last night she called, a hundred times is a conservative count, I responded to half, which didn’t helped at all. She was calling on all names her feeble mind could recall, a few out of the many she acquiesce when she was healthy and happy.

The medicine, yes, it helps borrow time, too. But that too doesn’t work to heal anymore. It works like me, temporary comfort, temporary cure, palliatives for pain and sorrow.

She asks about the Christmas decorations, put up the tree after thanksgiving, she said. We’re not cooking, I’ll have my daughter send us some food.

Special occasions and holidays are happy days where family and friends gather, she feels a part of it. When grandchildren, nieces or nephews come and go, celebrate thanksgiving and Christmas inside this house, that was once filled with laughter and joy.

The children are all gone to college, some to begin finding or starting a life of heir own. While the old stay behind waiting for the children when they come back home and relive those days of laughter and joy. And relive….

I wish we could borrow this cat’s life who have nine lives, if it’s true.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “An Odd Trio.”


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