All that remains...

Margie: “I find that I’m happier when I’m writing. Something flows through me into words on paper, or on a screen, and I’m part of things more than when I’m not writing.”

I had morning coffee with Margie, who has been unable to attend our writers group for months now because every day she sits from noon till 10:30 p.m. with her daughter’s partner, who has cancer and is in hospice care. Margie takes the hours while her daughter is at work.

“Being with them in this process is profound for me. It makes everything vivid, like when you’re on a trip to some distant land. I might bring my knitting, or a book. I might listen to music or check email on my phone. But mostly I watch, very attentively, and I think about life and death. I’m going to be eighty-eight in a couple of months, and I’m aware of my mortality. Who wouldn’t be, at my age? But I watch this process very closely, and it sharpens my awareness. They are a very close couple.” She clenches her two hands together tightly to demonstrate. “I think about what is a good life, a good death. The little stuff falls away, forgiveness comes more easily, and all that remains for me is gratitude and a great sadness.”

I watch Margie watching them, and I feel her tenderness for all we have, all we love, all we lose.

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