Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's The Little Things

As I have been sitting by mom's hospital bed these last two weeks, I've been frustrated that while she is still living and breathing and here with me, the morphine has either had her knocked out or unable to work her mouth well enough to speak. My mother is a talker. And a listener. And she's funny. And she's smart.

And I miss that.

Or rather, I missed it. Today, out of the blue, she woke up from a good night's sleep and started talking. Really talking. Full sentences. The works. Of course, I wasn't here... it was my sister's night to be with her and I was at work. But they called me and Linda put Mom on the speaker phone.

I cannot describe the joy I felt in hearing her voice again. Really hearing it. I was truly afraid that I wouldn't get to have another real conversation with her. And although her facial expressions are very communicative, it's not the same.

She's asleep now. She had a really big day and has managed to stay off the PRN morphine all day. A very low dose of extended release morphine has kept her pain under control and her mind sharp. We are hoping it is a positive sign of what is to come.

But tomorrow, once she is rested again, I sincerely hope she talks my ear off. I cannot wait.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Cure For Writer's Blcok

So I'm in the hospital watching over my mother. Her diagnosis has changed several times over the last 24 hours, and we will have a more definitive answer tomorrow after a biopsy. But it's not looking good. She is very uncomfortable and practically immobile with pain.

The hospital has wifi "for our convenience," but I am finding that most sites I use on a daily basis are blocked. I would not really be updating my Facebook status with the icky and highly personal aspects of her stay here, but I would like to be able to watch my friends live their lives on the outside. I can't clear out my Google reader because half of the blogs I follow are blocked here in the hospital and I can't even finish setting up my Goodreads account because it is also blocked. (Oddly, LibraryThing is NOT blocked here, so if I had just been willing to pay them their blood money, I could be finishing that task up easily).

And so, I blog.

Mom is just shy of turning 68. She has never really been the healthiest person I know... she has been a smoker since the ripe old age of 12 and although she knew they weren't good for her, she has clung to cigarettes as her main vice. Her other is chocolate, and we all know that chocolate is healthy, so I don't begrudge her that at all.

So we knew this day would arrive. All we've been able to do is hope that it isn't too painful and difficult for her. It looks like those hopes will not come true. She is in for a painful ordeal that may or may not yield positive results.

Watching her, I am reminded of all she has been to me and to all of her friends and family. She is loving and stern, funny and truthful, and conservative and generous. She has been a role model and a rock of support to me and has spoiled me in ways I will never be able to spoil my own daughter. She has ensured I live a full, open and happy life and has guaranteed my comfort and safety, even when I didn't really deserve it.

She is being well taken care of here at the hospital, and yet I find it almost impossible to leave her side. I take pleasure in watching her simply breathe and I enjoy joking with her and making her smile. Work, hobbies, and life's mundane tasks have taken a back seat and at this point, I have a hard time even acknowledging they exist. My sister will be here tomorrow from Hong Kong and Mom is very excited to see her again. It has been almost a year since we last saw her, and just the prospect of her showing up lights up my mother's eyes.

And I suddenly understand yet another aspect of motherhood. I see in her what it means to raise children and set them out in the world. I see the joy she takes simply in knowing that her children "are." And I want my children near me now with a passion I have never before felt.

But right now is her time. She needs to have her girls back just as her girls right now. And she shall have that. For she is why and what we "are."