December 30, 2005
Ò...were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different;Ó
-- T.S. Elliot, Journey of the Magi
Lydia dreams about abandoning vehicles as roads turn to paths in beautiful landscapes and narrow down to nothing, or debates squeezing through a basement passage from which you might not be able to return. Me, IÕm clinging to the landing gear of a plane setting down on the runway. Bit of a bounce.
Jeanie got to the Catholic Worker for Christmas Eve communion but collapsed on the stairs struggling home. Then day before yesterday (28th), on the Feast of Holy Innocents, her pain went way up, she stopped swallowing medications, and became unable to walk. We moved more abruptly from house bound to bedridden. SheÕs resting now in a hospital-type bed by our Christmas tree where she breathes evenly. Without benefit of certainty, we expect the journey now to be measured in days.
The hospice community that has gathered around Jeanie, including daily times of evening prayer, has undertaken a kind of holy common work. Thank you, near and far, for sharing the sacred time.
PS. It might be prudent to watch email for news, or respond with a phone number if you think we might not have it. Our current plan is to do a wake here at the house immediately the next evening, and then a memorial service within a week to 10 days.