02 Jun THE LONGEST NIGHT
Here’s the first of two of the hardest posts I’ve ever written.
I’ll write the other one tomorrow.
Kisses – the Author
Five years ago, right about now, I embarked on the Longest Night of My Life. Ten weeks of worry, of tears, of rage were coming to an end … and the light at the end of the tunnel was nothing but another fucking train. I was exhausted on every level, but I had to go on just a little while longer.
Mom still needed me.
From March 18th until that night, we’d all watched our mother/grandmother/Nana slip away from us little by little. Pancreatic cancer, if anyone is curious. From nothing, just some fatigue, to Stage 4 and Nothing We Can Do. She wanted to cross over at home, so we made it happen. It put deep scars in the family (some I don’t think will ever heal), but we made it happen.
She’d been awake, alert, and directing her army of children just a day before. Now, my brother, his wife, and I watched and waited, giving her pain medicine at the intervals hospice directed, and wondered when the battle would end.
I knew it was coming. Several days before, I’d seen my grandfather walk into the living room where Mom lay in her hospital bed. Papa died when I was four, but he was easy to recognize.
She was always Daddy’s girl, and he’d come to bring her Home. I could hear the clock ticking faster.
We agreed on each of us sleeping two hours and trading shifts; that way, she wouldn’t miss her medicine. I sat on the Evil Heathen Demon Couch (that’s another story; ask me about it later) and watched, waiting, ready to help if she showed any sign of being in pain.
Did I do right by you, Momma? I remember asking the not-so-empty room that night. The ghosts didn’t answer, and neither did she. I tried my hardest even as a kid. I didn’t shirk curfew. I did my chores even though she was never pleased with how I dusted the furniture. As soon as I was old enough to work, I contributed to the house.
If I went out, got drunk, or did anything else even partly stupid, I made sure I stayed at a friend’s house. I wasn’t perfect, just clever.
I watched, I waited, and I wondered if Heaven was real. I wondered if she knew I was there. I wondered if she knew her Daddy was waiting.
No, wait, that’s not true. I knew she knew Papa was there. She was just waiting for the right time to go.
Soon, my brother came to tag in, and I went to the back bedroom to try and sleep. I thought I wouldn’t, but I did. Deep.
The Longest Night came and went.
The sun rose.
It wasn’t time yet.
I settled back in to wait.