Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Love, actually

Another day at the beach, this one rainy, a little gloomy, but for the lights in Big John's little house. I took the dogs with me this time, and they were relegated to their bed upstairs, safe for sandy paws after a wet beach run, and away from Fred and Ginger, who were not happy with their canine visitors.  We watched "Love Actually" -- the Maharishi's and my favorite ever Christmas movie and apparently Sandy & John's too.  While John slept peacefully downstairs we laughed (and wept).

Is there truly a better line in any movie than "Eight is a lot of legs, David" -- said by Natalie's mother to David, the Prime Minister -- in any movie. Ever?

It sounds like a celebration, doesn't it? Turkey pot pie, tomatoes and basil with mozarella, a salad of organic greens with feta dressing, the greens gathered by Andi at the farmer's market.  Small, exquisite strawberries too.  The nurse, Bernetta (Sandy called her "Beretta" after the family's gun enthusiasts) sat with John, delivering the morphine on the hour.  For a moment his eyes opened, blinked at us. "He can hear you," she said and we spoke to him.  What do you say other than giving permission to leave?  Staring at his hollowed face, the sunken eyes, the waxy skin, the beatific expression you are lost for words. What possible words can we utter in this situation? "We love you. It's going to be fine. We'll take care of each other, of Sandy, of everyone.  It's okay to go." We're stumbling over our words, over each other. We have no script or text book to buoy us through these waters.

There is hesitation.  It's hard to not believe in something else, something better than this. The boys can't see their father this way.  Peaceful but not himself. Serene, yes, but holding on somehow, his pulse still beating solidly against his bony wrists.  I think of my father when his dogs died, telling me about grassy fields that go forever, sunlit, with rabbits to chase for miles and miles and miles.  So there must be a human version of this heaven.  I tell him to find my father, that he will help him.  "I told him to look for my Dad" I said to Sandy. "I said he'd give him a glass of Scotch."  She laughs loudly, sweetly. "Tell him there's a glass of vodka and he'll be there in a shot" she says.

Nothing is worse or better than these days.  "My father would have loved this" says the Maharishi.  "The house is full of people. He always wanted the house full of people."

Thank you, dear readers, for all your messages of love and support and for your prayers.  I am (as trite as it sounds) so very, very grateful.


Susan Champlin said...

I'm so sorry, BW. Such a difficult, richly complex emotional time. So glad he's surrounded by people who love and care for him so well and deeply. Much love to you.

Miss Whistle said...

and love to you too, SC x

Wildernesschic said...

We love you is probably the best thing you can ever say xxx

sas said...

I remember thinking the same thing when Mum died - the house so full of laughter and food and madness. And the tears. The shared loss.

You are giving him such a beautiful send-off.

Tania Kindersley said...

Dearest Miss Whistle - thinking of you and sending you the good Scottish Hogmanay love. Put a bit of poetry on my blog today for you. Tania xxxx

CampusLady said...

He would love the house full of people. You are doing exactly the right thing, without a script. Much love always xxx

Mrs L. said...

It is we who are grateful - to have someone in our lives who we love, who writes so beautifully about such real and painful and beautiful moments. xo