Now join me in at Simon’s home. He doesn’t know yet that his mother-in-law lies on her bed unresponsive. I wish I knew her name. When someone is so ill, it’s seem more comforting to be able to be able to speak of her by name, to use something more than “Simon’s mother-in-law”.
We’ve been in such rooms. The window coverings are closed. Family members come and go with wet cloths to cool the radiating heat of the scorching fever. Unspoken concern grows as the fever intensifies. We have watched the people we love suffer beneath our touch. We imagine that they are permanent in their role, our bedrock, our tower of strength, and as they lie in their beds, not moving, groaning from the raging disease within their bodies, we watch them change. The illness diminished them, and we see them shift into a kind of semi-permanence… even slipping away from us.