Monday, August 31, 2015

As They Lay Dying...

Thank you to Dylan Landis for this sensitive report on how difficult it is to watch your parents die.

Ordinarily Dylan spends much time writing and reading books, but during the summer and fall of her parents' death and for nearly a year afterward, she could do neither.  

We often think of reading as an escape, a way of passing time when we can't do other things.  

But Dylan found her mind too preoccupied to get into a book.

This time, I found myself staring out the train windows, book in lap, unread.

And when my parents napped, instead of curling into the guest chair to read, I daughtered, picking up Kleenex blossoms, straightening papers and updating their friends. I opened books, listlessly closed them and talked to the aides about their boyfriends, their money and, with some of them, God.

I love her use of the word daughter as a verb-- to daughter!

I find myself infinitely distractable with daughtering, housekeeping, shopping, errand-running... It's so hard to pick up a book and stay in one chair, ignoring all the other demands on my life.

** Dylan Landis is the author of a ­novel, “Rainey Royal,” and a story collection, “Normal People Don’t Live Like This.”