My mother, then well into her 81st year, lay in her hospital bed. One older sister stood and the other sat nearby. They were weary and disconsolate. Having taken the redeye from SFO, I had been by her side for just a short time. We were waiting for my mother’s oncologist who had been MIA for nearly a week. His visits to the bedside had been frequent and regular before, I was told. The scene–a couple of flower vases, mother’s shawls, and some books from her apartment lay organized on a side table. My visit definitely had a sense of urgency to me. It was rather apparent-my mother had summoned me here. I was there for one purpose–to speak with Dr. G and find out what her prognosis really was. A clear straightforward physician, a friend really, to my mother had gone silent, he had removed himself. Finally, he came into the room, silently. I had never met the doctor; however, my family was very familiar with him. A surprise-my mother did not start to speak up. After some pleasantries, Dr. G. started expounding. His words came forward.
You know that expression, words hanging in the air. Well, if there was clarity, it came forth, hung in the air and then began cracking, disintegrating, and then collapsing. If I could have drawn my psychic self, it would have shown me racing around the hospital room with a gigantic psychic trash bag. Being tossed into the bag–any detritus of Dr. G.’s exposition for later review and analysis. In short, me becoming an archeologist. Within moments of his arrival, I had given up all hope of understanding what he was saying. The prognosis lay undiscovered in the psychic bag I was holding.