Here there is no there.
I am one of four siblings. For two months I have sent emails to my brother and sisters and bc to my daughter to keep everyone up to date on what is happening here: the doctors, the hospital, the diet, the weather, the outings, the armadillo.
I will not forget what it feels like to sleep in a chair for two weeks next to my mother in her bed, my father next to her. Like a new mother who knows when her child stirs, I knew the moment my mother lifted the blanket. I went without sleep for two weeks. This is possible. It takes caffeine. And something else. Duty? Love? I think it has always been there, deep in my soul. It is a pain that does not yet have a name. It is wrapped in sadness, and is one a daughter knows.
In the fog that is my life today, I have found yoga classes, a state park with turtles, a grocery store. The lavendar plant my daughter sent reminds me of her. I pinch a flower and carry it in my pocket each day. But there is no art. That somehow eludes me. I do not try to get it back. I wait. Trusting it will return when it is time. It always does.
My youngest sister has visited twice to help me out. When she left I said, "You get to go home."
She gets to go home, she, like my bother and other sister have their own lives far away from here. Sometimes I think that this is right. They are the professionals, they could never give up their lives, their families, their day to day responsibilities. They wake to normalcy, they go to jobs, eat and sleep and make love. It is I, the artist, who can give up everything because I never had anything to begin with. Even a successful art career can be seen as the one that should be given up when a family shifts. I know it cannot happen unless the artist agrees to it. It's temporary. Everything is a memory. I must be here now than give up. I could never give up my daughter and so I could never give up my parents.
I imagine there are others like me.