It rests between the large jars of cinnamon and parsley, peeks at me from behind the glass restaurant-style sugar dispenser. Sissy gave it to me, this duckie tea infuser. I take it out, hold it in my palm, stroke it.
I squeeze my eyes tight and think back to that day in the dollar store where I snagged a trio of rubber ducks for my mom to add a little fun to her hospice hot tub bubble baths. She joked about them needing diapers.
Rubber duckie, you’re so fine…
The months stretch like rubber, and my memory grows thin, but my mind reaches for that day. The day she roused after days of sleeping and not eating. And we got her up in the recliner and pushed her by the window to watch the birds. We brought her breakfast–I can’t remember what now. I want to remember what. But she fed herself. Maybe mandarin oranges. And we were so excited when she wanted to go for a walk. That meant outside for a cigarette and see the birds and gaze at sunspots. And so we bundled her up like a big hamburger and pulled on the Cat-in-the-Hat socks and wheeled her outside right in that chair. And maybe that was the day Sissy curled up on the bench next to her and lay her head on Mom’s shoulder. Memories already start to melt together. And I’m glad I wrote words during that time.
When she comes in, she wants to take a bath, and so they gather the ducks and wheel her down. And maybe that was the day the bubbles nearly overflowed, and they called us down to see, but we didn’t go because we thought she could use the privacy.
And now we wish we had.
Sissy’s working on her computer in the dining room, and I’m piecing the puzzle in the sitting area when they wheel her back. And then the nurse runs back toward the station. “She’s seizing,” she calls over her shoulder.
I run to the dining room for Sissy, and we run to her room. They’ve managed to move her back to bed and we stand on either side. “It’s okay, Mom,” we murmur as her body shudders. And my dad reads a book at the desk, unaware, and there’s a deer outside, and Sissy tells the nurse to get a gun.
And Mom rests after that. Some of the grandchildren come the next day, and she does not want to see anyone. And there is unrest in the family.
She sinks deeper then until that last day her body gives a final shudder as her spirit breaks free.
My sissy is exhausted right now. So much to do at work and the grandboy who lives with her has been sick and she has mold in her house and has moved into a hotel until the source can be found and remediated at a cost of thousands of dollars.
And we text and chat in the late hours, and she’s so tired, and in the midst of it all her mind travels back to those days, and she frets about decisions and wonders if we should have pursued other options and treatments.
And Jesus says to rest from our labors and rest from our worries.
I place the duckie back in its place.
Mom rests now, Sissy.
Carried away again with Lisa Jo’s Five Minute prompt on rest.
And linking late with Jennifer