Thursday, July 4, 2013
This will be a difficult blog to write, but I do this in honor of my Mom who is also a writer. This morning as we all get up and contemplate how we will spend our Fourth of July holiday, my Mom lies in a hospital bed struggling to live.
Yesterday, I was given the gift of some precious time with her as we communicated via the written word. You see my Mom is on a ventilator, helping her to breathe when she cannot. The good news is that she spent the whole day off the ventilator for the first time since last Thursday when she was admitted.
So, as I stood by her bedside and held her hand and talked to her intermittently between sleep, we were able to have an intimate discussion.
Her beautiful blue eyes looked at me and she mouthed, "I can't take much more." My heart looked at my mother, the woman who gave me life, who has put up with my crap, has loved me through anything, has supported me through all my life's dreams, shared so many of my joys and all I wanted to do was make it all better, however I could.
And for the first time since my Mom had her hip surgery on May 6th, which was the start of this journey, I said to her: "It's ok Mom, if you can't do it anymore." " It's your decision to go or stay, we will be ok." The tears rolled down my cheeks like a waterfall just as they are now. Afterall, isn't this the ultimate gift we can give those we love? The gift of letting go?
So, as I cried, my Mom motioned to me that she wished to write. I held the clipboard as she looked at me and wrote, " I more Battle." I thought to myself, good God, this woman is amazingly strong. As she lay there with black and blue marks all over her arms, her eyes crusted over from all the medication, her legs a bit puffy from the swelling, and her lungs and heart working overtime, she still has the courage to carry on.
She motioned for me to come closer as she wiped my tears. Still my Mom, still wiping my tears.
I promised her I would stay the course with her , if that is what she chooses.
My Motherwrote me this beautiful poem on my Thirteenth Birthday that was titled "My Daughters Courage." It talked about my ability to climb mountains when no one thought I could , and my unending desire to meet new challenges in life.
Well Mom, that all comes from You. This is the Gift you gave me and in turn, I give you the gift of staying the course with you, however long that is, another day, another month, another year, another ten years.
I will keep that piece of paper that my mother wrote on for the rest of my life as a symbol of the woman she is and will always be.
Posted by Kimberley Barker Nightingale at 9:16 AM