Hospice Care

U Einar 1950s cropped“Are We There Yet?”
March 24, 2016

Eight of us stuffed into two bench seats.
No air conditioning.
Squabbling in the back seat summoned
The voice from the front seat,
The voice behind the steering wheel:
“Do you want me to pull over?”
No, we definitely did not want him to pull over.
Again and again and again—our questions:
“Are we there yet?”
“How much farther?”
“How long till we get there?”

Today we are there.
This is the there we never wanted to reach.
This morning’s text message summons my tears:
“Dad is going home on hospice care…
Hospital bed, oxygen, wheel chair…
Heart function…Kidney function….”

Next week I will cross the country to be there.
For nine days I will have the peculiar privilege
To be there in ways that make me weep.
Roles reversing…
Instead of receiving care, I will provide care.
Instead of being the first to bed and last one up,
I will be the last awake and the first to rise.
Instead of being interrogated,
I may ask uncomfortable questions.
Today we are there.

About Ben Unseth

Executive Director at Project Understanding (2014-2017), social service agency in Ventura, CA
This entry was posted in art, poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Hospice Care

  1. B. J. Slinger says:

    God bless your visit back home. When my mom was ready to accept hospice care, she died the next day. It was a release and letting go most likely. You are in our prayer.

  2. Ben Unseth says:

    You understand what I’m facing better I do. Thank you for your prayers. Quite a day. Mary responded on Facebook and you on my blog!

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