Why are naps reserved for the very young or old and pets? I can’t remember the last time I didn’t feel terribly guilty lying down in the middle of the day when I wasn’t officially on vacation. It took the itchy, drippy, snot-filled start of a head cold to convince me I was allowed to take a couple of hours off this afternoon.
Lying on my back, looking out the window at a cold and gray afternoon, I drifted in my mind, covering all the niggling little things that bubbled to the surface.
“Did you get my budget proposal?”
“Why is that blue?!?”
“Ah, so good to see you, I’ve missed you!”
“I need to make a list…”
None of the quick scenes make any sense when I rouse and look across the room. Alice shifts and snores, I go back to dreaming.
My hospice client now sleeps a lot. He naps after breakfast and again after lunch. Eating and socializing, sleeping and dreaming. Life is simpler. I used to sit quietly in his room and listen to the shifts in his breathing; wanting to be there when he woke. Now I leave him to his dreams, his eyes flutter open then gently close. I go about other things; cooking, doing laundry and reading with the baby-monitor tuned to his room. “Hello?” he calls out. “Are you still with me?” I’m always close enough to respond. I no longer invade his space and time to journey back and reminisce. That is what naps give us. A chance to step away from the moment and travel unfettered to the dark corners of our mind…