May 8, 2016
As I reflected on Mother’s Day this morning and the mom I have and the things I wanted to tell her that I love about her, I realized that an entirely new layer has been added to her “credentials”.
Almost two years ago, my mom drove my dad to the hospital early one morning for a surgery that was supposed to be routine, would require a few days in the hospital, and a few months until he would be back hiking and biking.
Something went very wrong in the surgery, and a cascade of bad events afterwards changed my parents’ lives.
When my mom brought my dad back home two months later, she became his caretaker. She encouraged him in his exercises to restore his health, she took him to his many doctors’ appointments, she helped him get from here to there, she was his constant companion, and, as always, his best and most loyal friend. Her life changed dramatically, yet she barely batted an eye at the changes that were necessary. She took on the challenge, as she always has, and she looked for ways to give him more help, more dignity, more comfort, and the best life he could have.
If you haven’t read the post below this one, about my dad and his death, I will post an excerpt here that is fitting for this Mother’s Day post…….
It’s impossible to think of my dad without my mom. He adored her, cherished her, protected her. My mom is an incredibly admirable woman in many many ways. But the picture I’ll remember of her for the rest of my life, the one I’ll tell my children about, and revisit in my mind again and again, is the one of her caring for my dad during the nights he was at his sickest. I slept with her in their room the last few nights of my dad’s life so that I could help her listen for him and make sure he didn’t try to get out of bed in his sleep. I would wake up and see her there in the dark, leaning over his bed in her nightgown, whispering to him gently, calming him with her voice, telling him she loved him. She would straighten his covers and make him more comfortable in whatever way she could, there in the dark. I’ve birthed eleven babies, and the picture of my mom caring for my dad across the room in the night rivals the first nano-seconds of my babies’ lives when they were lifted up, slippery and red, for me to behold. I don’t know any better way of explaining to you, reader of these humble words, the magnitude of my mom’s example and how it has affected me forever.
On this Mother’s Day, as I reflect on all that has happened the last year in our lives, I want to acknowledge the incredible dedication my mom had for my dad, and the incredible example of love she showed him and all of us who were there.
So thanks, Momma, for being such an incredible mom……by taking such amazing care of my dad.