Yakima Mom

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Archive for the tag “death”

Reminder to Give Thanks

We all need little reminders occasionally, to appreciate all that we have. I try to take a few moments daily…to be thankful for the blessings bestowed upon me… especially when I’m faced with challenges, and risk throwing a little pity-party for myself.

I mean, really. I dare say, most of us who read this-have our NEEDS completely met, myself included. We aren’t hungry or homeless. We probably have at least one car, and while we may gripe about putting gas in it, we don’t have to choose between filling the tank or eating dinner. We have our smart phones and 300 choices to watch on our flat screen TVs. I recently shared in a facebook post that went with this moving photo: 150903120900-restricted-01-migrant-crisis-medium-plus-169

                                     We have no idea. This life isn’t ours.

And yet, in spite of me trying to be continually aware and thankful for all I have, I was recently slapped in the face with the reminder of how much I take for granted.

Our sixteen year old son, Jack, has been having stomach issues. Since he’s still a “child” (all six feet, 195 pounds of him), there was no gastroenterologist in Yakima who would see him, so at our regular physicians request, we took him to Children’s Hospital in Seattle.

We drove over Monday. The closer we got to the hospital, the more “wound up” I became. Perhaps his sensitive stomach was really Crohn’s or IBS? How will this affect his life? By the time we parked and entered the facility, I was nauseous with nerves.

But then, as we waited in the cafeteria, I watched a mother and her less-than-two-year-old son, and got a new perspective. From what I surmised, the mother was accompanied by her mother, and the three of them were meeting with the boy’s dad, who did not live with them.

The child had the wispy hair of the recently chemoed. A small NG tube was taped to his cheek and disappeared into his nose, though it didn’t seem to bother him at all. He climbed on and off of his mother, while she snuggled and petted him and talked to the man. I could hear bits and pieces of what she was saying.

“So, if we do chemo again, we’ll try something different,” floated to my ear, and then she took another bite of her sandwich while the boy watched.

“Nom, nom?” he questioned, eyeing the food.

“Mmmhmm. Nom nom,” Mom agreed.

I had to look away as tears threatened and I realized that for her, sitting in Children’s Hospital, discussing her baby’s chemo while eating a sandwich, was this woman’s normal world. She wasn’t wound up about having to take her child there; it was probably routine. This was her life.

           *                          *                          *                       *                   *

Over the next couple hours we sat in different waiting rooms and I saw other parents, some in situations similar to the one I saw in the cafeteria. Sick babies. Scary treatments. Every day.

And as I watched mothers gently stroking their babies or rubbing a cheek against a downy head, another thought formed in my head.
Some of these mommies know they have a limited amount of those touches and strokes.

Some of those mothers know that a cruel clock is ticking, and that they have to get as many caresses and kisses and inhales of their child’s scent that they can while there is still time.images
I am so fortunate.

It turns out Jack is alright and we have nothing too scary to worry about. He’s okay. And when I said my prayers that night, I was extremely aware and thankful for my healthy children and my blessed life. I prayed for all those parents and babies too, grateful my life is not one of theirs.

1964854_10203125413961876_2869837343778331532_nIf you hear me complaining about anything, slap me.

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Mother’s Day-Revisited

Ever since I became a mother, 20 years ago, I’ve considered this “holiday” second only to Christmas and Easter. We mothers do a lot, day in and day out, and are rarely thanked for any of it. Anf015aadfb3950e3f1bde4ea8eed9717ed that’s okay, at least for me, because I happily signed up for it. But it is nice to have a day set aside just for us.

When I was a Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader, I was driven to have my charges make unique keepsakes that their mamas (many of whom were my friends as well) would cherish. We sponge painted flower pots, made alphabet bead creations, and baked. We sprouted seeds, made planters, and created cards. Mother’s Day is, after all, one of the most special days of the year!

My own family has taken me to one of may favorite nurseries each Mother’s Day for the past decade or so, where we spent ridiculous amounts of money on flowers and plants and statuary. We’d then return home, where I’d putter about the yard and my pots, transplanting and watering and in general having a thoroughly enjoyable day. And then we’d eat together… most often take and bake pizza,,, and I’d go to bed a happy mama.

But the loss of my own mother this past year has me far off balance. Everywhere I go, I am reminded of her absence; the card displays and bouquets in the grocery store, signs shouting: Remember Mom!, the commercials… they almost seem to taunt. My mama is gone.

We usually took her to the nursery with us, and my husband always bought her a very nice basket or planter that she’d say was too much, but he would just insist, “It’s Mother’s Day.” And she would help me in the yard, until that got too difficult, and then she would watch me from the deck and maybe help with the pots…

I’m not doing the nursery this year. I don’t want to do anything this year.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mama. I love you. ❤

 

 

Mama 3

Sunday

The nurses didn’t think we’d still be here. I was pretty certain myself, but then I was pretty certain that it would be Saturday afternoon, then Saturday night. I’m done making predictions.

I feel a little sorry for myself when I’m here alone, but then want my husband to leave when he comes. There is no sense to my feelings… anger, agitation, the urge to tell people to be quiet, that the nurses shouldn’t chew gum. But none of it really matters because none of it will change anything.

Here are some more new things I’ve learned: As the body shuts down, there is often a fever. My mom had a fever in the hospital, but it was from a bladder infection from the catheter. It’s a different fever now, and though her face feels cool-ish, her temperature is 102.4.

After the body stops producing urine, it usually takes about 24 hours to pass. She had her stroke seven days ago, got one little bottle of saline in the hospital, and yet she is still making urine.

Mom had another comeback this afternoon. Her breathing speeded back up a bit, and her feet, which had been a little cool, got toasty. Now it’s almost 7:00 PM, and her feet are cool and her breathing is getting noisy and irregular again.rose

I can not leave her alone to die. I don’t think she knows I’m here anymore, but I can’t leave her. She lay on the floor of her apartment for two nights before being found. Alone. She won’t have to leave her alone, too.

 

 

 

 

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