It feels like I’ve got sunglasses on, but there’s no sunshine, so everything is just darker than usual. I’m sitting in mom’s cozy den, Drew, in a talkative mood, is in here beside me, on the chair that his nan can usually be found on, Max is downstairs in the media room, dozing in front of the 70 inch TV, and dad is upstairs, fast asleep. He sleeps a lot these days … his heart is slowing down and is giving him some grief. Last night he had an angina attack just from walking up a flight of stairs. He has a throat infection (which has nothing to do with his heart or his brain) and is coughing in his sleep. His personality, formerly larger than an elephant, is fading.
Clint has gone to Youth Church and will pick up his brothers on his way back to Langley. They’ll spend the night at home, then Clint will get them to school in the morning. After that, Mark and Sherry will take over for a few days while I camp out here in this beautiful mansion.
I have a list of things to do; get dad up, make sure he showers and puts on clean clothes. Get him something to eat, watch him take his pills. (He takes about 20 a day, all organized carefully in advance by my mom.) Then get him to his doctor’s appointment at 10:30 am. Afterwards, drop by the hospital to visit mom, go to the pharmacy to get one of his prescriptions refilled, stop at the mall for some lunch, then home for a nap. While he naps I’ll make some phone calls; throw in a load of laundry. Nothing strenuous to do, yet it feels overwhelming. Everytime he coughs, I get tense.
Already I miss my kids.
My mom is recovering from major surgery.
Apparently her incision is the length of her abdomen and a whole whack of work was done to her innards. “The bag” that is attached to the outside of her stomach will be her constant, embarrassing companion for the next half year.
Jac (my sis-in-law) and I went to visit mom this evening. Holy cow, she looks a whole lot better than she did this morning at 4. Morphine is a wonderful thing.
You know what’s amazing about my mom? She didn’t know she was going into the hospital. She had no idea when she left the house at noon to go out with her friends that she’d come back just a few hours later in excruciating pain. When she went to the hospital at supper time, she thought she’d be back a few hours later.
What would your house look like on any given random Saturday night? Would your ‘affairs’ be in order? My mom’s master daytimer is up to date. Her banking/bill paying/deposits are all looked after. Upcoming appointments, automatic payments, pill dispenser, EVERYTHING is marked down. Everything is filed. Everything is in it’s place.
My life is a train wreck compared to hers.
You should see her drawers.
Why did I not inherit any of that?
My house? Is scary right now. Especially my bathroom and closet. (I’ll do a photo comparison this week, just to show you how like my father I am.)
Knowing how her house is so ‘in order’, it’s not surprising that her soul is too. When the ER department finally got on board with the seriousness of the situation (honestly, you would NOT believe how they treated her before her cat scan) they gave us a little talk about the speed at which things would proceed. In the flurry of surgical prep, mom looked at me and said, “And if I die …”
“You’re not going to,” I said, “But you probably have something you need to say, so I’m listening.”
“I know, but just in case, I want you to know, that I’m ready. I’m at peace. And I love you.” And then she went on to tell me about the banking and their accounts and I only listened with half an ear because, really, she wasn’t going to die.
But it got me thinking. If I was on my death bed dying, would I be able to say to anyone, “… and regarding the banking and bills, it’s all organized and up to date in a binder.” No. No I could not say that. My mom does not have a pile of papers to be sorted on her dining room table. Why do I?
Oh, and you know what else is amazing? Her trick or treat bowl, on a pedestal next to her front door, has a few left over goodies in it. That woman, who is my mother, handed out PURDY’S CHOCOLATE BARS to kids on Halloween night. She is such a class act. Oh my goodness; if only I had a smidgeon of her finesse.
Wow. This took all night to write. Kids have long since left. Dad is still sleeping, but he coughs every half hour or so, and it sounds awful. Everytime he coughs, the knot at the top of my leg gets tighter. I forgot to pack my alarm, and there isn’t one in this house. So I will likely check my cell phone every hour all night long, checking to see if it’s morning.
Thank you to those who have emailed. You guys rock. Thank you for praying …