Sunday, February 3, 2013

Softly and Tenderly

   They usually came at the end of their shift. Sometimes we only knew them by their first name but we stopped trying to remember that during those long days and nights. It didn't really matter anymore because we knew we would probably never see them again.  Life is funny that way. People come and go. They can be a vital part of your life for a certain period of time and then something changes and they disappear......forever. We knew their faces well.  They had compassionate and kind faces. Their actions were loving and strong. How do they do this for a living especially when they are surrounded by death? Individually they came. Softly and tenderly they knelt and held her hand. Softly and tenderly they prayed for her. Softly and tenderly they kissed her goodbye. We watched this and quietly wept as our mother slipped away from us.  

   We were surrounded by the act of dying; a process that took hours and hours.....and days and days. It was torturous to watch yet baffling when we looked at the peace and beauty on our mother's face.  We were trapped in the strangeness of surrealism. We floated through the mornings, we floated through the days, we floated through the nights and then we started it all over again. When we asked the time or looked at the clock it didn't really mean anything to us. Our lives were on hold as we waited and watched, cried and laughed, sang and hummed, prayed and wept...and wept some more.  We shared memories....oh the memories.  How sweet it was to look back and remember. How sweet it was to spend one last time together as a whole family........and then softly and tenderly, He called her home.
        "Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past, all safe and blessed we shall meet at last."

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