Destinations Magazine

Pregnant with Life Here Until Eternity

By Coreyamaro

 

Corey Amaro photography

 

Several weeks ago Annie's broke her leg. It snapped by itself as she stood up. As she cannot walk she has been recuperating at a convalescent home. Hopefully in another four or five weeks she will be able to return to her home.

 

Annie will be ninety five at the end of this month. Ninety five.

 

corey amaro blog and photography

 

The other day I asked Annie if I could give her a manicure. I told her how my mom volunteered for years giving manicures at a convalescent home. My mom would say, "At first the older women would want the Palest Pink but as time went on they asked for Fire Engine Red or Shocking Pink." Annie giggled and ask for Palest Pink... I painted her nails a deep pink rose. She loved it. A few days later someone said to Annie that the color was too young for a person her age. Annie asked if I thought the color was too young for her? I rolled my eyes, "Annie you are beautiful. Fire Engine Red for your Ninety-Fifth!" Annie gave me that smile that melts my heart.

Even at ninety-five a person still cares what other people think. Living in harmony matters.

 

corey amaro blog and photography

 

The convalescent home has many elderly people longing for a visitor to share a bit of news, listen to one of their favorite long ago tales, or simply to have a break from the daily routine they cannot control.

It is a bittersweet place... The lives of people who have lived long lives yet find the prize daunting: It takes courage and grace to live with an aging body and active mind, this is how it ends? My Father while in the hospital often asked me, "What did I do to merit this?" I was surprised when Annie asked the same thing. It isn't complaining, rather a reality that life was good, wonderfully lived with a full heart, but now they are ready to go and there isn't anyway to get there but to go through waiting for the exit call.

 

corey amaro blog and photography

 

While Annie held my hand, her hand was soft and warm, she told me she was longing to go home to see her family on the other side, she asked, "Why am I still here? What is there left to do? Why doesn't God call me home? I feel I am just waiting."

When somebody shares with me about their experiences of life I try to imagine myself in their skin, and or I try to connect what they are expressing to something that has been similar in my life. Compassion arises from a communion of sacred ground. When Annie shared about her longing, her readiness for the next step of the journey. I remember having those sorts of feelings when I was nine months pregnant with Chelsea. I remember being ready to give birth, waiting those last couple of weeks, longing to have my baby in my arms, but all I could do was wait until nature called.

 

corey amaro blog and photography

 Leaning towards Annie, I asked her to remember what it felt like when she was nine months pregnant. I asked her if at that time, was she ready, tired of waiting, longing for the next step? She smiled and nodded, "I was so big."

"Well Annie," I offered, "Your pregnant with holding on to this your beautiful life, and we do not know what month it is."

Annie thought about it for awhile, "I want my Mother to call me, I am ready to go be with my family on the other side. I am ready eternity."

"I know." Then I thought about it for awhile, "I will miss you when you go, but I hope I miss you for a very long time."

 And then just like that, we laughed until we cried.

 


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