Tossing pennies into the void.
As in, penny for my thoughts. So, my mother passed this morning, peaceful and easy.
I get to try and deal with this as a son, as well as a father. Our daughter's a little younger than I was, the first time a close relative passed.
She's a teenager, so there's going to be resentment.
She's a teenager, so there's also time for us to be here for her to work through that resentment.
My mother suffered, as patients with a terminal illness suffer at the end. She was fortunate, though. Compared to others with her particular illness, the pain was low.
There are sometimes small blessings to a brain tumor. And in this case, the brain tumor appeared to cut off some of the pain centers. So the rest of the tumors, in breast and stomach and throughout her lymphatic system, weren't the torture they might have otherwise been.
We were there, and many thanks, because the hospice team were there to back us up. Hospice nurses, counselors. Whatever we needed, Houston Hospice was there for us. Angels in disguise, as all who work in that part of the medical field must be.
They made it a great deal less tedious, for us, but for my mother most of all. It's a long slow business, passing through the twilight region via cancer. Time passes in funny ways.
The long nights, for us listening to her breathe.
For her, the long days, thinking and coming to terms with the toll that the twilight passage requires. I don't think it's easy, or cheap, that passage.
And I know it's lonely. That's the one traverse we must all walk alone. No one else can walk that path, with us or for us.
And it's the one that seems to leave everyone behind. From our perspective sitting on the shore, at least. Where do they go?
Soon enough, we'll know. Whatever creed we follow, the answer awaits.
Just let it be enough, that when we get to that path, that there be love and support while we make the steps down the twilight passage.