Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Letting go of a melody

Betty's eyes were set deeper than the night before. She is having trouble speaking (when she is motivated to do so.)

She spoke several times that night - the most memorable to me was when Joy the lovely hospice angel asked her "Betty, do you have any pain?" Betty is on morphine now to ease her anxiety - mostly.

Betty (of the wicked sense of humor and irony was back for a moment and) answered, "Only when Eleesa is here." She squeezed my hand.

It is not just me or us that have to let Betty go. She has to let us go - Of course. I just forgot that. It is easy to loose track of gravity in this quantum world between worlds.

Betty is trying to let go now - I think.

I saw it in the two "AWESOME" phone calls that I had planned for her.

I called my Aunt Mary - really a sister to me and to Betty. Mary Mary, as we call her for some reason known only to Betty, is usually an inspiration and rock in crisis. I have always counted on her for humor and perspective in the deepest valleys of thought.

"Hi, Betty. How are you?"

"I'm feel fine." It was more croak than voice.

"What are you doing?" Betty did not answer - which was the saddest of pauses because to break the pattern of rote intro was to admit she was beyond it - something - Beyone what ? trappings of civil discourse? structures of dailiness?

She was just husbanding her energy now - I think.

"Oh, Betty." Mary Mary was only human today. She had lost much of her superpower on her own massive grief that she was digesting. Her beloved sister, mother, best friend - Tata - died at almost 100 a few weeks ago. She has been caring for Tata in Las Vegas for years.

I did an small intervention. "Hey Mary Mary, I was calling for corroboration that Betty is awesome." Mary Mary found her mojo with my lifeline of joy. She got a massive smile from Betty before we hung up.

Our second call was to an old glamorous friend of Betty's - Carolyn in Tulsa. She is another lovely femme in the southern school with a strength that was never successfully disguised by her humor; like Betty, she was a party girl - now retired.

Betty started having breathing trouble - anxiety and lots of it.

"Honey." I asked "Do you want to hang up?" She started breathing even faster. She grabbed the iPhone in a way that I can only describe as hungrily - like someone starving.

We spoke more words. Betty listened to fun, playful, rowdy melody of her old life.

I think.

Joy came in with more oral morphine and Betty took it. I crawled into bed beside her.

Joy said "So Betty, you have a snuggle buddy tonight." Betty really likes all the caregivers - but Joy got an open smile that took over her entire face.

I stayed until she could settle.

No comments:

Post a Comment