Lately, I can't help but feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz; in the scene where she's locked in the tower and the Wicked Witch has just turned over the hourglass and told Dorothy she would only live until the sand reached the bottom.
Only I won't be the one that dies.
It will be my mother.
And I'm helpless to do anything about it.
The sand falls.
Yet, unlike Dorothy, there is no one to rescue me and fix my mother. I won't be able to break the spell by smashing the hourglass on the ground.
And for as much as I want this to all be a dream, it is horribly real.
So I am fumbling and stumbling, trying to figure out a way to cope with the fact that my mother... my best friend and confidant is dying. I grapple with that every day, all the while doing my best to be strong for her; to be a good daughter. I want to be just what she needs. I want to get my part right.
And still, the sand keeps falling. I can only watch.
I try to savor and treasure every moment like a gift. Because it is. But to be honest, we spend so much time together doing absolutely nothing and I feel like it's a travesty. It's a crime that I'm not making each moment a polaroid memory to get me through the hard times ahead. I feel like I'm wasting time.
And the sand keeps falling.
There are stories to be written, recipes to glean, truths and secrets to be told in hundreds of photos that until now have sat randomly in two wooden boxes; the kind of place we all suitably leave our memories until we need them; until our hearts are broken.
There is so much to do somewhere between now and when that last grain of sand finally crushes my soul with it's weight; and yet I can't find the energy or the strength to properly preserve and capture the essence of my mother. Perhaps it is because I know it will be impossible. Perhaps it is because I know that losing her will forever change me and no matter how hard I try, I won't ever be able to document and archive her being, her hugs... Her.
For her, I need sit with her and hold her hand so she knows she's not alone. That is important. But for me, for her legacy, I have to do what I can to keep as much of her here as possible; even if it's only on paper. That is important too. Because when the sand is gone and I'm sifting through all the remnants of her life wishing hopelessly for more time, I need to know that I did my best to know all I can about her. She won't be able to answer all of my questions then.
I only have now; I only have this grain of sand.