Monday, January 17, 2011

The Spaces Between

It's been coming on for awhile now. Like all bad news, there is a certain amount of avoidance we practice to keep the reality at bay. The fact is, my mother can no longer hear anything. I've yelled into her ear, much to everyone else's dismay, but it causes not even a ripple to her. She looks at me in confusion and begins to guess what it is I might have said. She says thank you a lot and has become much quieter since her hearing has left.

I make my living by offering up words...sometimes they are words of comfort, solidarity, understanding and other times I use them to confront or bring to awareness something which has been hidden. I know that there are powerfully silent moments in the spaces in between my words. I've sat in that space, holding someone figuratively in that moment of grace and awareness. Those moments have always been anchored on either side by words. Without the anchors, what do I bring to the silence with my mother. I yearn for recognition, but fear that the silence will rob me of that occasional awareness on her part. I tried flash cards over the holidays but her reading and comprehension are fleeting at best.
It seems I have entered another stage of her progression with AD. My task, as always, is acceptance and letting go. Hope of recognition has spurred me on for months now. I fear I have become just one more face in her never ending day.....someone that shows up and holds her hand, combs her hair and strokes her cheek, always with a smile.
Ironically, words escape me now. I bring presence and love and hope that she can experience that in those spaces between.


  1. you bring you. no one else there can do that. she knows it.
    ...this is a great piece.

  2. we came into this world without words to convey our needs. It is the developed "us" that crave the sound of feel the words part our lips and impart meaning. So much can be expressed in a wordless world. You are bringing that in to play now.