I spent the day at the hospice, watching my mother decline, floating in and out of coherent consciousness, her skin turning sallow and translucent, and feeding her with a spoon because she no longer has the strength to do it herself.
I was glad that she has a window in her room so she could see the pretty day outside. It was one of those days of honey-colored light, the air light and fresh, the leaves of the trees glittering in the gentle wind. Doves fluttered outside the window at a bird feeder, competing for whatever was left to eat. A group of them gathered on the wall behind it, making that mournful sound that will now always make me think of this day, a day when I wondered if my mom knew what the day outside her window was like. I hoped she could, because I knew it would be one of the last she would see.
It was a difficult day again, a day of tears, a day of remembering how things used to be, and a day during which my sister and I worried about what the future will hold for my dad. His life partner is going to be gone, and I can’t even imagine how lost and devastated he will feel. Our grief will pale in comparison to his.
At the end of the day, I happened to look at the sheet that covered the bottom of the bed on which my mom was resting. Printed on it was “To report lost items, call (602) 555-5173.”
Oh, please, could I just call that number and have my mom back??