Finally my mom whispered in my ear,
“I hear you, my darling. I hear you. I am alive.”
An ambulance arrived taking us to the hospital. I stayed with her through the night. The next morning I escorted her, holding her hand, on the gurney to surgery. I spent the next several days and the following months encouraging her to fight to live. I was her rock. When she wanted to give up, I would bend over and whisper in her ear,
“I need you, Mom. I love you, Mom. Fight!“
She survived surgery and then entered a home for physical therapy staying over two months, fighting for her life. While there she survived pneumonia, tried to learn to walk, contracted a bladder infection then requiring a second hospitalization. She became very depressed. When she lost her will, I would lean over and repeat those same words:
“I need you, Mom. I love you, Mom. Fight.”
She always looked up at me, smiled and squeezed my hand.
My husband and I were scheduled to return to our winter home in California. It was now the middle of December. We were looking forward to spending New Year's in Hawaii with friends. I was so excited about our upcoming trips but my heart felt heavy. I finally said to Shelly, “There is no way I can leave my mother.”
And here is the reason why. My mother, throughout my life, has done the following for me:
- Loved me
- Nurtured me
- Taught me
- Protected me
- Supported me
- Sympathized with me
Now the roles have reversed. She needs my support, my sympathy, my protection, my nurturing and most of all…my love.
She tells me over and over when I am with her:
“Just to see your smile, makes me feel safe.”
I did not leave my mother’s side until January 5. My daughter was celebrating her birthday, January 7, in Arizona. The whole family was flying in to celebrate Jenny.
When I am away I speak to my mother at least once a day. My mother asks me over and over,
“When are you coming home? I miss your smile. I want to fill your refrigerator!”
My mother’s recovery over six months has been up and down like a teeter-totter. She is now wheelchair-bound and hates it…BUT she goes everywhere! She broke her wrist but wears a pink cast to keep her ‘in style!’ She has to have the newest make-up because I’m wearing it! She watched “The Affair” On Demand and Breaking Bad on Netflix because I told her she would love the series and she did! She loves Garret's Caramel Corn, goes to the movies in her wheel chair and just saw The Lady in Gold! She still dresses to the nines and looks forward to going out for dinner with family and friends. She is in chronic pain but constantly works at surviving.
She tells me over the phone when I am away at our home in California,
“I am very sick! I don’t know how long I can hang on!”
“I’ll be home soon! Hang in there, Mom. I need you!” is my response.
Her answer is, “For you, I will try. Once you are home I will be fine. But hurry,” she says between laughter and seriousness.
Thank God this beautiful, feisty mother of mine wants to hang on until I’m home! I am leaving California with my husband and my dog Orchid in a few.
Happy Mother’s Day!!! Do something GOOD today, celebrate your day!