J. can no longer easily get out of her recliner, and her adult sisters have arrived to help her manage these last days so she can remain in her home. She tells us at our nursing visit: “When they (the two sisters) told me they were coming up to be with me, I thought I had big plans and places to go, and we three needed to have things to do together. But I can’t seem to manage the beach trip, and it is so much effort to get out of the house now.”
She gently sighs.
J. continues, “We used to be so hurried when we got together, what with the kids and so much to do. We never had enough time to visit. Then it hit me last night, while we just sat around watching TV, it was quiet and peaceful and just comfortable, and I thought, ‘This is so great, to just sit and enjoy each other, this is quality of life!’ We haven’t had quiet time together like this since growing up together as siblings.”
Her mother is here as well. The three women scurry about, fussing over her, trying to tempt her waning appetite with special dishes, propping pillows, helping her to the bathroom. She suddenly decides that she really wants to eat a chicken leg, now that the nausea is a little better managed. The two sisters leave mom and J. dozing in the matching living room recliners and run off to do errands. Written on their to-do list: Finding a fried chicken leg.
J. is satisfied with these simple pleasures…content with these dwindling days together.
I’ve spent a few days with my little sister this week. We get in thousands of words a day. We hang together, in quiet moments reading. We reminisce. We laugh and cry. We sing. We shop. We just enjoy looking out the windows. We do nothing momentous. We accomplish nothing remarkable.
I take a minute to remember J., and how right she was… I think to myself, how uncomplicated life becomes when all the busyness is whittled down to what really matters—the simple pleasure of just being together.