Writing through life

I’ve been a little distracted lately. Life’s getting in the way of my writing. My writing’s getting in the way of life. And all of it is getting in the way of letting go, of dying, of accepting that at the end of the day we must give up the good fight and go home to the light.

My mother had a stroke a fortnight ago. We’re now in recovery. Yes, we … mother, father, Heart Guy, my siblings, my children, nephews, nieces and me. Yes, me.

My mother’s only had a mild stroke. It’s the afterward, the now, we’re having to confront. She has various health conditions, all previously “controlled” by a delicately balanced combination of medications.  After this stroke, the doctors will be ‘upping” one set of medicines.  This will affect her other conditions.  It is a precarious compromise.

Friday, on the way back from one of the doctors, she said to me, “It’s not very important. Everyone has to die.”

I know we all begin to die the day we’re born. My mother, in her mid-80’s, has been visibly fading  for many months, perhaps years. My doctor brother told us what signs we needed to be ready for. Those signs hadn’t shown themselves.  We went along, merrily.  Then she had this unanticipated stroke (3 actually).

“Everyone has to die,” she said to me in the car.

My mother doesn’t believe in saying anything bad if it doesn’t need to be said. But, she does believe in speaking her truth when its necessary. She must have thought it necessary to tell me this.

Matthew 7:11 of the Bible says “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?” Yet, this is the hard stone of truth my mother has given me.

This too shall pass I tell myself. It doesn’t matter. Everyone has to die. It is the present that counts. Make the most of it.

Other things my mother told me come to mind. Carpe Diem, seize the day. This world, it’s not our true home. We go home to somewhere better.

I swallow the stone. I let the juices in my gut gnaw at it. A gem will emerge, I know. But it hurts, this polishing.

10 Responses to “Writing through life”
  1. Dear Audrey, I’ve tried to write something here three times now – but failed. My parents died many years ago and my mother always blamed me for my father’s death (of a stroke). I can’t write about it, I’ve tried. I hope writing about your mother’s illness and the pain you are all suffering helps you. Wishing you strength, Mary

    • Audrey Chin says:

      Mary, thank you for your kind words.
      Visibly, my mother doesn’t look too sick at all. But, the curse of modern medicine is we have blood work and scans and know far too much about the state of our insides.
      Yes, writing this did help me.
      I do hope one day, you will be able to write about how you feel, even if only in your journal. Words do help, sometimes.

  2. Janelle says:

    Audrey, you write beautifully about such a hard thing. I’m sorry for this stone. Words are sometimes poor descriptors of the heart. I pray your mother and your family walk through this with grace and peace, even as you face realities.

  3. connie says:

    Death, the anticipation of it, of a family member, is hard to contemplate and mother’s is the most difficult. Audrey, you write about the struggle with such beauty and grace.

  4. Jay Warner says:

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I need to be reminded that I need outward expression of inner emotion. I’m dealing with aging parents as well but not doing that good of a job.

  5. I hurt along with you my friend as we care for our aged mothers and wish them happy healthy days with no pain and only good family experiences. I will be thinking of you and her recovery xxx

  6. Hi Audrey,

    I just in a book by R.K. Narayan that loneliness is the unmitigated truth of life. People come and go and harsh as it may sound, it is as simple as that. To break the shackles and move on is hard. But, it does happen eventually.

    Sad but beautifully written. I happened to come across you when i entered the giveaway by you on Goodreads. I pray for you and your family.

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