Tuesday, December 16, 2014

We Are Made Of Dreams And Bones, Need A Spot To Call My Own Until The Time Is At Hand

I love this picture. I just do. The way it makes the eave upstairs look like a Dr. Seuss addition to the house. The Christmas lights in the window with the hanging fern beside them. The gingerbread trim. The sky behind still lit a little from the last rays of the setting sun.

My house. It brings me comfort and it brings me joy.

As Kathleen's house brings her comfort and joy. Tomorrow they are going to move her to Hospice House in Tallahassee and I think (and she said) that it will be a good thing.
Her husband has been all alone in tending to her with help, of course, from visiting nurses from Hospice but he is so tired and is facing some pretty severe and painful physical challenges himself. And Kathleen worries about him and he worries about her and I think she will be more at peace with him, still there by her side, but with her care being administered by other attendants.
That man took a wrecked up and abandoned house and turned it into a beautiful home which is peaceful in all ways. And beautiful. Their dogs and their cats and their chickens and their ducks live there. The kids, they call them. There's a pond where he feeds the fish. There is pretty artwork on the walls of the house and a Florida Room which looks out on it all and a patio with a fountain and a table and chairs.
He has worked like a man on a loving mission.
Which is exactly what he has been.
He has taken Kathleen and her father to Spain. Her father was in a wheel chair and needed a great deal of help. He took Kathleen across the country on his Harley. He has taken her down the river many times in their boat. He has loved her tremendously. He has married her and made all of the promises you make and he has kept them.
And now it is time to just let him love her and let others take over her care.

So. This is probably her last night in her beloved nest which her beloved man created for her.

I went over this afternoon to sit with her while he ran to Monticello to do a few errands. Kathleen mostly slept and I stayed in the living room, close by to make sure she was all right and I let her rest. The two dogs, Bob and Pig, slept in her room and every time I went to check on her, Bob lifted his head and wagged his tail as if to say, "We've got this covered." And they did.

Now I am home. It has been a long day but I got a nap in the middle of it. I had gone to the dentist and all is well there. I chatted with my dental-assistant girl about her babies and Christmas. I got an X-ray. The doctor came in and checked and right in the middle of the exam he said, "Well, actually..."
And I froze up inside because you know me.
But then he said, "I think the crown can be started in January instead of February. This looks very good."
And he took my hands when it was time to leave and said, "I hope that all of this has not been too hard on you."
And I told him that his office and his staff are wonderful and that it has all been very fine. And he wished me a merry Christmas and that was that.

I drove to Fanny's then. Not to eat lunch, but just to hug and kiss my daughter May, which I did. Sometimes I just gotta get May love. Then to Target where I was looking for a specific toy for Owen which of course they were out of and so I went to Toys R (backward) Us and bought the last one they had.
If nothing else, I have gotten my grand babies their toys.

I did not pass out in either of those two places although the whole time I was shopping I was thinking, "Gotta get out of here. Gotta get out of here."
I swear, every woman in Target was thinner than a knife blade. I texted a friend that I had not gotten the memo that it was incredibly thin woman day at the Target. There were women who were almost impossible to see if they turned sideways who were the mothers of three-month-old infants. It was very odd and I am not sure why they let me in the door.

But. I did it. I got my boy his dream present.

And when I got home, I ate some leftovers and fell on the bed and slept for an hour. I have done almost nothing physical at all in the past few days but I am exhausted nonetheless and I know why and it's okay and I am glad I slept.

I have laundry to fold and put away and supper to make because my husband is coming home. My own "kid," Maurice, is here to love and bite me. My little tree is lit and glowing. The sky is entirely dark now, the chicken kids put away for the night, the eggs gathered, the greens for a salad picked.

I think of how much these small things of living make me happy. How happy they have always made Kathleen.
Here's a video of Pete Seeger singing her favorite song.

She has lived inch by inch and made fertile ground.

I would like to do the same.

Good night, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Oh, I feel sad about Kathleen. But I know that Hospice hospital is a wonderful place. Thank you for being with her. Thinking of her and her husband.

  2. Oh.
    I love the photo of your house too, so perfect.
    Beautiful writing MM.

  3. Mary, this made me feel so sad. I know that house meant a lot to Kathleen and it seems like she didn't get to enjoy it for very long. And yet I also know her husband's shingles are likely related to it all being too much for him to bear as well. Love is painful too. I am glad you had a nap and are not pushing yourself too hard in other ways and that you seem to know that this, what you are going through yourself, is immense and complicated. I am glad you went to get May love too. Words don't do justice to how I want you to know that though I don't know you but from here, you are being held in my heart these days. Sweet Jo

  4. Syd- She has had such a wonderful life since her diagnosis. But still- it is hard to face this inevitable part of her journey. I know you understand.

    Bethany- I am so glad to see you here. I love you, woman. I do.

    Sweet Jo- I wish I could put my arms around you. Feel your heart beating, next to mine. Thank you. You always understand.

  5. Like Sweet Jo, I wish she had more time in that house, more time with Bug, more time with you and more time with her kids. I almost didn't read her blog because I was scared of the ending, but I am so glad I did. Gail

  6. Oh Pete, what a dear man. I just watched a docu of Martin Luther King from 1955-1968, the year he was killed. Remarkable people we have known.

    Have yourself a merry little Christmas dear Mary, you and all your kin.

    XX Beth

  7. We are never ready for the last days...it kind of sneaks up on us...it is just plain hard for everyone.

  8. When Pete Seeger died, the streets of Berkeley filled with musicians and fans who sang his songs all night.

  9. I imagine that Kathleen is deeply grateful for the words you spin, and your love and gratitude for Kathleen are carried by those words, too. I am glad you can rest and take care of yourself. I send you so much love.

  10. Kathleen has sown wonderful seeds that live and grow and will continue to grow . love and and strength to her , her husband, and to all who love and nurture her. you are a gem in her glorious life, and she, in yours.

  11. God bless the houses and the friends inside them. God bless the dogs, the chickens, the pigs, and the ducks and the cats.

  12. Such a sad time, but also an important time and you give it beauty and dignity with your words.

    Wishing all of you, especially Kathleen, comfort and peace.

  13. I am sad that Kathleen is leaving the house she made with Bug, but her loving spirit has drawn loving ones like you and Bug to her side and it is a sacred journey you are taking with her now. You are all in my prayers and my heart. May Kathleen have comfort and peace. May she feel and know how wrapped she is in love.

  14. Poor Kathleen. I can't imagine what it would be like to leave home for the last time. But it sounds like she is ready. She is lucky to have you and her husband.

  15. we all come to the same end and Kathleen is showing us how to do it with dignity and grace.

  16. This is a beautiful post, Mary. I love you, and the world will miss Kathleen.


  17. Oh Mary. Your posts, Kathleen's posts, they just keep getting more beautiful. I am so honored to know you, and her through you. I hope to have half her grace when it is my time, and half as good a friend as you in my life too. You find and keep the best people, Mary Moon. They just keep leaving too soon, though.

    I read this post and sat a while, realizing what hospice meant. Denial is one of my better coping skills.

    I went looking for something to read by the author she asked you to read to her, Loren Eiseley. I can't imagine a greater richness than a friend who will read you something wonderful and just sit with you.

    I had three books with essays by him, so how could I have missed his writing? I got distracted with some Joan Didion, and got a little further cracked open, then saw your next post on my facebook feed. I was dreading to hear the news, and I have no words other than I am so sorry, and thank you both so much.

    I am so sorry Kathleen is no longer with us. Thank you for sharing her light with us, she was an incredible treasure to get to know, even a little bit, and an inspiration, a touchstone. Her last few posts should be in a book, along with the rest of them. How to Live, that might be a good title. She has been such a great teacher and she probably didn't even know it.

    I'm thinking kindly and tenderly of you both tonight.


  18. I love that you can just go find May when you need a hug and it gives you enough gumption to go to Toys R Us.

  19. Thank you Mary.....for everything. But especially being such a good friend to my beautiful wife Kathleen. I miss her more than words can express. But having friends like you and Glen have made my pain a little easier to bare. Much love Bug

  20. Bug- Being Kathleen's friend has been an adventure and a glory. I am glad that Glen and I have been able to become your friend. We are beyond grateful that she met you and that you fell in love. You are a brave and strong soul. You are, as Kathleen said, a Warrior.


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