Monday, March 15, 2010

The Invisible City of the Long Long Fall

There is that point as you are falling down the hole when you stop screaming. When the terror, though at your fingertips, recedes long enough for you to realize that you have not yet been smashed to a million pieces at the bottom.

That you cannot even see a bottom.

That you are still falling.

That you may be here for some time.

I am in the invisible city of the fall. In this darkened tunnel I can see nothing but a faint dimness ahead. It is not a light. It is the death of light. Or at least what light looks like when it is dying. And yet, and stubbornly yet, I am still alive in here. My heart beats. I can taste my last meal in my mouth. Should I be able to scream I would hear my voice. I know that the world exists up there from where I fell. People walk the sidewalks. Animals prowl the back alleys. Babies cry at night and stars, oh the many stars are out. I just no longer am with them.

Willa has a mysterious constitution. We hope we may have another year with her. I am infinitely grateful for this. A year at least! Of course there are the endless caveats soaked in legalese. We really have no idea. She has always, from her beginning written her own story. But we can hope.

I have learned some interesting things about the limits of one’s strength. I have learned some interesting things about the duality of a daily existence falling into an abyss. Endless falling, no impact. That it takes energy. That there is endless energy involved in continuing to breathe. That it takes energy to remember that the end is not yet here. (Don’t rush it by thinking too much about what is coming. It will be here soon enough.)

I have learned that it takes energy to watch television with your child instead of placing them in front of a sunset, an Easter egg hunt, a dolphin breaking water. It takes energy to give yourself liberties. It takes energy to allow for bathing, sleeping, dressing; the business of life.

Because Willa is not going to die tomorrow, only sooner than we would have ever wished. And in the meantime, we fall, but the heart still beats, we still hear the voices of those around us, we still have to eat, dress, rest and allow for all the weakness brought forth by the incredible energy lost in this battle to keep it all together.

I am falling down and down. Deeper and deeper into a world I never hoped to explore. But the more I fall, the further I get, the more I realize that it is a warren of interconnected tunnels here. There are wires lining the earthen walls, connecting to other wires in other tunnels, in other free falls. There are caverns connected to caverns reserved for parents struggling to maintain life while death surrounds them. There are the sounds of other screams down here. There are silences shared between parents who are falling parallel to each other, in our own invisible ways. We may not be able to see each other but the deeper I fall the more I feel them out there. The more I feel you all out there.

There is that dim light growing more distinct every day. The light that signals an end to all this. But it is still a long way off I hope. I hope for time. I hope for mercy. I hope for all of us to survive the fall.

19 comments:

Miryam (mama o' the matrices) said...

years ago, a hematologist sat with me, after giving bad news. After a while, I asked her what her specialty was, and she admitted, palliative care.

She explained that palliative care could allow an impossibly hard time, to be an extraordinarily rich one. Something to treasure, she said.

Months later, she was part of the team that offered this gift to a friend's daughter. Impossibly hard. And extraordinarily rich.

wishing for you that the second may come with the first.

Krista said...

Actual and virtual, there will be more arms than you can count to catch you when you finally stop falling.

Anonymous said...

May you remember the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. Faith in Willa’s warrior spirit, faith in yourself, faith in life, faith in others...

May you always be surrounded with grace, love’s healing energy and light~

Crittle said...

I continue to think of you and Willa. When I look outside and see the wonder that is the dawn of a new season, I hope that you, too, are enjoying your spring.

Kami said...

You are not screaming into a vacuum, though it may feel like it. We hear you. And we're gathering pillows to help soften the landing whenever that may be.

Tara said...

Sitting in front of the blinking cursor for such a very long time, only to find I have no words. Tears and hugs for you both. And prayers...lots of prayers. There is One who hears, who has been there, and who loves. Seeking Him on your behalf.

Schmutzie said...

This weblog is being featured on Five Star Friday -
http://www.fivestarfriday.com/2010/03/five-star-fridays-edition-95.html

Kami said...

Hey Heather, just wanted you to know I nominated this post for Five Star Friday, a site that promotes blog readership. Your writing is beautiful.

thepsychobabble said...

I wish I had words. But I've been staring at this box for awhile, and none come to me.
May your time together be sweet, and may it be longer than expected.

adjunctmom said...

May each of Willa's days be as full and rich and beautiful as possible.

Like Kami said, we hear you and the pillows are ready when you need them.

Goddess in Progress said...

Here via Kami.

I feel like I have nothing to offer but my tears and my heart breaking into a million pieces for you.

You don't know me, but I'll be lying in that pile at the bottom, hoping to break your fall.

Kami said...

Hi, I'm back. Just wanted you to know I mentioned you again on my blog. Come have a look-see!

Sarah said...

What Krista and Kami said.

slouchy said...

I read through most of your blog last night.

Feeling for you right now.

Sending you strength.

You are a beautiful, beautiful writer.

DownTownDan said...

It is very hard to read a post like this one, and harder still to find anything to say about it that does not sound trivial. And so I think I will say nothing this time, except that I am here, reading, with a heavy heart.

Magpie said...

This is so beatifully written, and so heartbreaking. Peace, and strength.

TUC said...

I keep coming back here and rereading, trying to comment and then leaving.. having said nothing. And here I am back again, reading, desperately wishing that your words were stolen and reworked for a different outcome.

I pray you are granted the energy to do all you need and desire to. I pray that Time is kind to you. I pray that you will find the focus to grasp every drop of joy from every day. And I thank you for still writing, even though we don't know how to write back.

colin said...

Helaina continues to ask after willa and sends you all good wishes and vibes

Love to you all

col

claire said...

Trying to find words in an other language, for an other world ... just a woman who keeps you in her heart