For Just a Moment

the news is never expected,
even though we know to expect news,
and more news

there’s no room for tears inside shock,
so after we made it into the car,
I held her hand and we cried together

at home, I helped her get comfortable,
and we made space for the things no one wants to say,
made space for the fear and grief and tears,
made space for silence

then I made lunch,
and as we sat,
I told her a story I remembered about Grandpa’s old house by the train tracks,
where I used to take pennies from his penny crates,
leave them on the tracks and wait anxiously for them to be to be flattened,
remembering their heat and surprising smoothness between my fingers,
the lingering smell of hot copper

I knew she’d be surprised I’d remembered,
that it would lead to some other story I hadn’t yet heard,
some postage stamp echo of time I could carefully collect,
another piece of her I could hold on to

but I also knew when there’s only fear and unknown ahead,
sometimes there’s great comfort in the past,
in slicing wide open a tidbit of time, like magic,
to share with someone we love,
in the traveling back in time,
bringing one back inside the mind and body,
back to oneself,
even if just for a moment

19 thoughts on “For Just a Moment

  1. “Great comfort in the past”–so true. Maybe that’s why my father-in-law, who has severe Alzheimer’s, remembers it so well but doesn’t remember the present. Thanks for this–a beautiful piece:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was tender and beautiful. My sister died on 20 April 2014 so this was very poignant to read.. My precious memories are of holding her hand even though she was not conscious on the last night.. same for my Mum who passed three years later.. Am so sorry for your loss. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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