When Ruthie Lou was alive we called it a “time out of time”. Time was passing in the world that rotated around us, but not in our life. In our life, time had stood still. And then after she died, then came “the after”.
The after time was filled with empty space. It was a quiet time, isolated, alone while the outside world continued on but we didn’t. Sure, there were meals delivered, text messages, invites from friends but a lot of time, there are was emptiness. So many hours that I just sat, whether in the backyard, on the couch, or on my bed. I sat there, in silence. No TV, minimal phone calls, moderately responded to texts. I just sat there with thoughts swirling in my head. And now, I couldn’t even tell you what I was thinking about as my brain jumped from one event to another, from one emotion to the next, from the present and then back to the then recent past of my daughter’s brief life.
Now I tell you this because I am both here in another time out of time while simultaneously sitting in empty space. When Ruthie Lou was alive, we had her to occupy us and to tend to, to make memories with. So the empty space didn’t occur until after she was gone and all we had left was ourselves.
But now, I have no distraction. My boys are not really here and when they are, I am in my bedroom to escape the noise, their energy, and a possible magic wand to the face. So, there isn’t much distraction in my day to day. I require minimal efforts to take care of and as long as my water is full (as well as my belly) there isn’t much I need.
On the days that Chris has been working (because I send him out of the house) and the boys are away (because I cannot tend to them) I just sit. In that empty space. I couldn’t tell you what I do with most the day.
I watch a little TV.
I do minimal reading.
I sit outside and watch the birds.
I respond to a text or phone call here and there.
I make sure my water (and belly) are full.
I open a card or gift or package.
But mostly, my mind wanders. Mostly to safe places. Sometimes to the scary ones. (I quickly get myself out of those.) I think about my sore muscles, what my boys are doing, that I should get up and walk around, and that I wish it were cooler so I could sit outside. I contemplate taking a nap, but although I am tired my brain won’t stop so I settle for laying down “resting” instead. I wonder when my last pain pill was and about tomorrow’s surgery, or how radiation and chemo will affect my body. Once a day, I make sure to flip my meditation cards and when I remember, I write them down and marvel how they’re so relevant to each particular day.
Overall, I consider myself in good shape. I allow my body and brain to do what it needs to process and heal during this time of little control. I listen to what I need and then give in to what that is. And mostly, it’s just sitting in silence… or a little music...or a sitcom to lighten the mood.
And I am grateful. I am recovering as expected from surgery. I am ready (mentally) for another surgery tomorrow. I have treatment options after recovery. My son can’t wait to see what my head looks like bald. My baby is oblivious to any change in our home or on my lap. And my husband loves me through all the good and the bad and in the times out of time. Again.
So, I am just sitting here in the empty space in another time out of time.
I am mama of three beautiful babes; two sons whom I have the privilege of raising and my daughter who lived for 33 sacred days.