Yakima Mom

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Archive for the tag “Mothering”

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.

Eighteen

Our daughter is turning 18 this weekend. Eighteen.

I helped her vote last night. Her graduation tassel came today. This time next year, I will be trying to ignore the K-shaped hole in our home that will be left when she goes off to school.

I feel like I should be doing better; I’ve done this before. Her older brother is now a junior at university. I hardly ever see him. I still miss him terribly, but I survived, and no longer spend my days wondering what he’s doing.

I guess I was thinking this time wouldn’t be so hard.

K and I had a tough couple of years… too many arguments, too many days in which my attempts at conversation were met with monosyllables, sometimes even just grunts. For more than a year, she was locked behind a wall I just couldn’t penetrate, leaving her alone and depressed and me bewildered and resentful.

We got help, and about six months ago, I began getting back my girl. Now she makes me laugh daily. Her humor can be cutting and dry, and she can be wickedly sarcastic, blunt, and opinionated, but, well, she’s 18, and I love her to death.

Of course I’ve loved her all along—she is, after all, my baby girl—but as the days tick by bringing the inevitable leaving of the nest, I want to cling to the little girl she was, and this new young woman that she’s become. I just got her back from behind that wall, and I’m not ready for her to go. I want to be silly and laugh with her about the weird thinkengs she finds hysterically funny. I want to dance with her and hang out with her, just a little while longer.

But.

I’m still not sure how it happened, but in the blink of an eye, my baby became 18.

Mama 2

My house is a mess. I am remodeling the kitchen with the money left to me from Mom. Of all things to spend it on, I know she would be very pleased with this, as we plotted and planned for years what I might someday do with the space. She is happy.

Saturday

I have watched two people leave this place followed by their families who look drained and hollow. I thought yesterday would be the day. She is tough.

 There was a ladybug in a hospital window earlier this week. I don’t think the window could even be opened, and I wondered how she found herself there, in a CCU conference room. I watched her for a bit before I got her to crawl onto my hand and then took her down the stairs and outside. It took a few seconds to get her to leave me and climb onto some flowers I offered. And I thought… This is something.

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I have just about finished the obituary. There are a few early details I just don’t know, like when my parents moved from new York to Alaska, where they settled in Alaska, and what my deseaced brother’s middle name was.  

Here are some new things I do know: The human body can go a week without any calories. Eye drops in your mouth can help prevent the formation of saliva. Seasickness patches behind the ear can too. When people have a head injury, or even Parkinson’s or Alzheimers, they can appear very close to death and then sort of improve a little bit. Apparently it may have something to do with the mental part of letting go. Mom is going with this last on a lot.

 

 

 

 

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