After the excitement of the reunion, we are returning to our routine of daily visits, weekly dinners. Daily comments about wanting to die, followed by my retort about living every moment one is alive. Weekly visits from the hospice nurse. Daily checks of toilet paper, sore toes, clock accuracy, and making sure the shakes are pre-opened. We are both somewhat tired of it, yet she still treasures my presence, and expresses appreciation.
Today we had a little hiccup. She had hallucinations this morning, probably due to a recent change in a medicine or perhaps a UTI, but a rush of anxiety and concerns about its implication. Medicines are being adjusted, and we expect to return to our normal.
After the flash of adrenaline, I returned in my customary visit routine, but really wanted a fresh view. And it occurs to me that the daily visits, though insignificant individually, constitute those tiny stitches in a petit-point piece of embroidery, a mother-daughter portrait perhaps. Each stitch isn't really much, but is carefully made to ensure the end product is achieved.
My mother's friend Mayme was making a needlepoint pillow, and on the day when Pearl Harbor was attacked, she added a special stitch, perhaps red, to mark the moment. How a single stitch captures such an impactful event.
So I continue to count the threads, pull the needle up, push it back down, straighten the thread, count the threads, pull the needle up, push it back down, straighten the threads. Work until the needlepoint is done, in tiny, nearly-invisible individual stitches.