On my way down to my mom's I needed to stop for some coffee. As I got out of the car and shut the door I noticed something on the ground. I reached down and picked it up...., it was a dragonfly. It was dead and kind of dried out but everything was intact. The wings were not damaged at all. There in the busy parking lot I found this lovely gift, waiting for me to save it from the wind, the wheels of a car, a curious dog or a childs awkward hand. As I held it in my hand I thought I saw it move. How could that be? It was dried out and was crush in on the top between it's wings. Maybe the wind made it move, or my hand touched it's wing and turned it's body just a little. It didn't moved again and so I found a safe place for it on the back seat , bought my coffee and continued on across the Delta and into the Bay Area.
I know the road so well after all these years of driving down and back. I laughingly call it "...the horse to the barn" road. I tell everyone that if I took my hands off the wheel, the car would just continue on and arrive at it's destination because it has driven that road so many times.
I was not sure what to expect when I arrived at Mom's, but my sister had just brought Mom home and even though she was tired, she seemed to be doing very well. She has Congestive Heart Failure and Diabetes. She went to the hospital because she couldn't breath. They gave her very high doses of Lasix, a diuretic, and she came home 20 pounds thinner. The pressure on her heart and lungs was greatly reduced by this procedure so the doctor let her come home. They don't let you stay long now. If you're still breathing and you can get to the bathroom by yourself ,they discharge you. There seems to be a kind of medical conveyor belt in hospitals these days. You are in and out of there before you know anyone's name.
Sis told me that the doctors were very nice and did as much as they could to help Mom. All Mom wanted to do was go home. She's 90 yrs old and she's getting very set in her ways. She just wanted to take a nap. She was tired and very glad to be home.
Over the weekend I showed her the dragonfly I found in the parking lot. We marveled at the beauty of this creature and talked about the wings; so fragile looking and yet with the ability to fly. How each dragonfly is, first, a thing that lives in water. It is born there and that it only lives for a month or so. Only a month, not years, not decades..., but for a very short time, this lovely creature flies around and catches other insects and flies above our heads and then it's gone. Where do they go? all the thousands of small bodies...., when there are so many of them? Why does the death of one Dragonfly seem so sad? Why does sharing this lovely creature with my mother bring tears to my eyes? Is this when we hold onto each other because we know that time is short? Will the fragile wings of my mother's life travel faster than the years she has been given? Can I make the dragonfly come back to life and fly over my head?...., no. I can do nothing to stop the reality of it's death. We are all creatures with fragile wings and now, with my mother sitting beside me, I can only share this knowledge in silence.