|The Familiar Falling Away (M.A. Reilly. Devon in Ringwood, 2011)|
Today the wind is fierce: a howling menace whose wildness is oddly attractive. It says anything can happen.
The weekend's frigid weather has turned unseasonably warm and today finds a balmy 60 degrees beyond our front door. It's mid-February and rain falls at first intermittently and then steadily all day. The three front steps were partially covered with a thin veneer of ice this morning. I used the ice scraper Rob always keeps by the door to break it up so that the Hospice delivery could occur.
My life these days is mostly filled with attending to small details. Taking Dev to school. Arranging for friends who are coming in to stay. Figuring out when to go to the hospital. Figuring out how best to get Rob's mom to and from the hospital. Remembering to eat dinner. Doing the laundry. Vacuuming.
The one steady pulse that runs through all of these sometimes banal duties is the hope Rob will be home tomorrow.
|Rob Painting. 2.15.16|
Ours is a house of books. A house of art. A house of play. Yesterday Rob began to feel anxious when the doctor explained how he would be titrated off the high flow oxygen and placed on a nasal cannula. As he waited for Xanax, I suggested to Rob he might want to paint. I had brought watercolor pencils, paper and brushes the day earlier. He agreed. A friend had left lavender essential oil (thanks Liz) that I applied to his temples and within thirty minutes he was calm.
In a 2011 study (Toward A Brain Based Study of Beauty), researchers Tomohiro Ishizu and Semir Zeki found that there was a 10 percent increase in blood flow to the part of the brain where joy is expressed when viewing a beautiful painting. I wondered if joy doesn't increase even more when art is being made, not only viewed. Rob was calm and pleased by the time he finished painting.
One sure thing Dev and I have learned is that we cannot know the future--be it ten minutes from now or a week. Tomorrow, we hope Rob will be home. It will mark day 50 since he was last here. 50 days have passed and the house, like us, is unsteady.
Today the wind is fierce: a howling menace whose wildness remains attractive. It says anything can happen.
Anything at all.