Yakima Mom

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Archive for the tag “Love”

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

I Know it’s No Excuse, but…

Dear WordPress,

I am sorry, but I’ve been avoiding you.

It’s nothing personal, really. It’s completely about me; you’ve been terrific.

It’s just that I’ve been so … fragile, lately.

I can blame it on my temporary employment position… which cam as a result of a LAY-OFF, which is certainly capable of making one feel, um, less-than-great. But it’s not that.

Not really.

It’s that this time, this Spring/Summer, is so momentous for me.

I’m going from “mothering” one of my babies… his arrival being one of the most magnificent, glorious, wonderful things that ever happened TO ME…  to–well, whatever it is you become when your kid grows up and flies away from the nest.

And all I feel like posting is how huge this is, and how proud i am, and how scared i am, and how READY he is…

and I feel a little bad for my other two babies, who don’t seem to make the headlines so often.

And so I’ve just not posted. I’ve not told you he’s going to the University of Washington, which he considered his “fallback” school. I’ve not told you how hard it really is to get in there, and that I’m trying to convince him that getting accepted is an accomplishment.

He had his hopes set on Dartmouth. Or maybe Boston College.

It was a really tough year to get in.

He’s coming around. He wants to join a fraternity. I think he’s realizing it’s the beginning of a big adventure.

It’s the beginning of HIS life.

And it feels like the end of mine.

And so, this is why I’ve been neglectful of you, dear WordPress. And to you, my few faithful followers.

I’ve already told you how hard this is. You probably don’t want to hear it again.

I know I will survive this.

I’m just not sure how.

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