Tuesday, May 28, 2013
It is exhausting, this traveling back and forth. I am home for 2 days this week and then I go again, a 4 hour trip (one way) that I think I could do with my eyes closed. And probably have, come to think of it. Being away from the claustrophobic atmosphere gives me time to reflect, although I also worry every second that I am not there. Let's find some joy in the midst of the most demanding and grueling of circumstances: - My mom tenderly trying to slip her wedding band on over her gnarled and mostly useless finger a couple of days ago. - My sister and I struggling to lift mom's body back into the bed after a toilet visit and catching her eye as we're huffing and puffing, making me want to giggle. - Seeing her mouth lift up at the corners as my husband tries his best to lighten the mood and make her laugh. - Hearing time and time again how my mom touched someone's life for the better, simply by caring and being kind. - The security of spending her last days at home, surrounded by her most beloved family, who are honoring her wishes to keep her out of the hospital. - The hope and assurance of our faith that we will see mom again in Heaven, where she will be healthy and happy. - The many, many, many people who are showing how much they love our family with their prayers, food, money, and anything else they have to offer. I'm slowly grasping that my mom is extraordinary. People from all stages of her life are contacting her and letting her know how much she means to them. It is astounding. She has received hundreds of cards, dozens of flower arrangements, enough food to feed an army, and countless offers of, "Let me know if there's ANYTHING I can do." Many people die alone with no one who cares. My mom is surrounded by loved ones near and far who are supporting us all in this journey and I am overwhelmed by their generosity and my thankfulness. My sister and I are also caught up by people who love us: they watch our children, feed us when we can't summon the energy to cook, and make sure we have gas. They are just there, letting us know that they are praying for us and thinking of us. I am thankful for every word written, every hug given, every thoughtful gesture that lets me know you are there, carrying the load with me. This experience is going to get even harder, and I'm thankful that I am not alone. We are not alone.