**UPDATE**Monday, 5/12/08: For an update go to the ninth 'comment' on this post. Thanks!
There's no place like home. Home is where the heart is. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. All true. So true.
This nest of mine more than sustains me. I can rest here, grow here, learn and share here, love here. And I can generously give and receive the encouragement necessary to each one of us. Bliss to be back here - at home.
While I was away helping my parents this past week the doctors said they were sure Mom would succumb to her 'rampant infection.' But she didn't. Her body fought it off quickly. Her heart is weakened, squeezing sluggishly, but needs only time to fully recover. Her joints have pain which keeps her drugged and flat on her back unwilling to do the moving and physical therapy her body requires to get its mobility back. She just lies there, a few notches better than catatonic. Her determination to get back to living seems to be on hold.
We join the doctors and nurses in being stumped. She's normally a fighter, spunky.
This journey for mom - for all of us - is far from over. In some ways it's just beginning. An uphill battle for sure.
Since we kids have all long-since moved away from our home town, where our parents reside - the closest of us being 50 miles away - we are learning to coordinate our efforts and work together. To help Dad become self-reliant in the face of Mom's long recovery process I taught him how to use his washer and dryer, how to run the dishwasher, how to write a check, make a deposit, and where to put his bills and statements until one of my sisters or I can do the paperwork Mom normally does. My sister taught him how to use his cell phone and cleaned his house, shopped for groceries. My brother is keeping tabs on Dad's wood needs for his woodstove. Tom is going to help him fix his pick-up truck. The great-grandkids are sending photos and cards, making crafts to hang in Grandma's room. The grandchildren are taking a day or two to drive Grandpa to the rehab center and make him meals and cookies when he's home. We are all doing what we can to make a difficult situation easier.
Limbo. We exist in a state of energetic limbo. Sort of a holding pattern, circling, circling, waiting to land and walk on solid ground once again.
And yet, already I see blessings taking off their disguises.
I don't know if Mom will live or die, if she will recover or remain bedridden for the rest of her life, but I do know that the love my brothers and sisters and I share is strong, deep, unwavering. I know that I am a good daughter. I know my husband is reliable, wise, and loving, my children kind, thoughtful, and capable. I know that my dad adores my mom.
And I know the kindness of strangers, the goodness of friends, and that in the heart of what sometimes appears to be a cold, cruel world there dwells a strong and certain bond among humanity that gently supports the weary, holding them in its steady embrace always - the hands of God.
A special enthusiastic THANK YOU to those of you who commented on my last few posts. While I was away tending to my parents with no access to a computer Cassie and Caroline printed them all up and had Tom hand-deliver them to me when he visited at the hospital. I have to say, I teared up. It's my desire that you understand that even though most of us have never met face-to-face your words washed over my fatigued heart, renewing me. Never ever underestimate the power of love and words! Thanks again! You're the best!