I have been trying to get an assignment finished for the last little while ... and am still trying .... interrupted by quite some little while when I had more resemblance to a dormouse than anything else. I suspect it was genuine lack of sleep, concern about my studies and worry about my mother all piling up somewhere in the back of my mind and telling me I didn't want to know, thank you.
Sleeping pattern is now improved. That happened the moment I let the course secretary know I would have to intercalate. This was followed up by an email to the course director explaining my position and making a formal request to intercalate. He then rang me and agreed, so I've spent the last week or so luxuriating in being able to relax. The pleasure is somewhat clouded by knowing from Burrswood, who are giving my mother the once-over to check that she is getting what is the best option for her now, that her kidney function is markedly different from how it was in September when she went there to convalesce - not good news.
Whereas before Fiona was speaking in terms of depression or whatever being the cause of mum being under the weather, she is now talking in terms of her age and that it cannot be long before we lose her ... I have had the feeling all along that this has been the case and hoped against hope I was wrong, as things are often attributed to old age and left, to the detriment of the patient. Hence the once-over. We are both concerned that what time she has left should be the best it can be and that she feels love and warmth around her so that she can relax into the presence of God to be ready for the last great adventure.
It is a shame that she spent what looks like having been her last Christmass with us in such a state of distress: she was very low, in pain and just could not relax. Hence the concern that she should be able to do so: if she cannot any longer DO, it is time that she should enjoy BEING. I recently read a line which seems particularly appropriate for her:
God loves you because of who He is, not because of what you did or didn't do.
and something for us all in those dark times of doubt.
Since I started writing this we have heard from Burrswood that her kidneys are failing and that we should think in terms of weeks rather than months. What a strange feeling! To know that in a very short time your mother just won't be there ... I usually send her a card every week: I was in the stationer's looking for new ones, and wondered as I chose whether I would soon be looking at them regretting that I was never able to send them.
I am not, now, sure of my priorities. Getting rid of what stuff I can from my own place is definitely high on the list, after doing what I still can for my mother: some academic work is a priority, so that I don't get behind again this year. I have emailed my course director to advise him of the situation, and I will be going to the September residential: how receptive I will be to theology remains to be seen! I need an interest outside of my mother's death - something positive when all is collapsing around me; I just hope I can concentrate.