Thursday, August 29, 2013

love you forever

My husband keeps saying that this has been the worst summer he can remember.
It started out the day before school got out when my dad fell.
You might remember that he broke his leg.
When he went in for surgery they found
that he'd had a heart attack.
His leg surgery was postponed until they figured out his heart.
After a long medical roller coaster
he unfortunately lost his leg.
Good news though is that once his wound
from the amputation heals he will
{God willing}
get fitted for a prosthetic leg and hopefully
become mobile again.
 
I don't think that I've mentioned here
that my mother-in-law also fell this summer...
a few weeks ago in early August.

She got dizzy one day in her kitchen
and went to grab a kitchen chair for support.
It fell over and she went with it.
Right onto her tailbone and hitting her head
on an old sewing machine in the process.
Long story short
{and it took two trips to the ER,
two CAT scans,
and one MRI}
she broke her tailbone.
She lives alone and was pretty stubborn
about remaining in her house,
refusing to come stay with us
or anybody.
We would go visit her,
clean up her house,
do the laundry and dishes,
grocery shop etc.
She did not look good but she was managing.
Fights ensued between her children about what to do.
Feelings got hurt.
Thankfully my husband is level headed and refuses to engage in nonsense.
He worked behind the scenes with her regular doctor
and finally convinced his mother through him
that she needed to go into hospital.
We were trying to balance what she needed with what she wanted.
Best decision ever.
Her electrolyte balance was screwy.
Had she not gone in she wouldn't have made it on her own another week.
 
One of us has been making the three hour round trip every day to see her.
I sat with her on Saturday.
Just sat there and talked.
I helped her clean up and brush her teeth.
I didn't realize but she has dentures.
She was embarrassed.
I told her that my grandmother had them too.
I told her how my Grannie would let us open the packets
of Efferdent and drop them in her little denture box.
We would be so excited to see it bubble up and clean her teeth.
She said that I was only the second person to see her without them in.
Sounds silly and I can't explain it
but it was very intimate and raw
she was like a little girl in that moment.
 
I should say here that I didn't always get along with her.
Not that we fought, not at all.
She just wasn't open to me.
When I first met her I was not expected.
My husband had not told his family he was dating me.
Or that I lived half a country away.
Or how serious we were.
Nothing.
Then one day
thirty minutes before we got there
he called to tell them he was bringing me to meet them.
Once they found out I lived in Georgia she panicked.
Thinking I would take him there.
Later as we planned our marriage she found out
I wasn't Catholic and that I'd been through the big D
{and I don't mean Dallas}.
Not what she wanted for her son.
I was mad I admit.
How dare she not think I was good enough.
Now that I'm a mom I get it.
I get her and the place she was coming from.
We've worked it all out.
Without words.
Just through time
and getting to know each other.
She knows how I love her son.
Truly, madly, deeply.
 
Love will erase a lot of misgivings.
I can honestly say that I love her now too.
 
My husband came home yesterday from seeing her.
He was telling me about his time with her.
How he tried to help her but she was embarrassed for him
to help with everything she needed.
He reminded me of a book we read to our boys
by Robert Munsch called
about a mom and her son...
how she remembers the days of him growing up,
first rocking him to sleep as a baby
by singing in his ear
 
"I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be."
 
She repeats this to him as he grows up,
sneaking into his room at night
to whisper it in his ear as he sleeps,
through his teenage years
 and even into adulthood
{in the story using a ladder to climb
into his bedroom of his own house}
Then as his mother grows old
he travels to her and holds her delicately in his arms
whispering in her ear
 
"I'll love you forever
I'll love you for always
As long as I'm living
My mommy you will be."
 
That is what this experience has felt like.
Loving our parents as they age.
Doing for them tenderly what they did for us as babies.
Loving them through it.
As much as it hurts our hearts to see them age.
Its what they deserve.
Nothing less.
 
 
 

1 comment :

  1. I'm thinking that no one has commented yet because they can't see through their tears. So very well said. Healing thoughts to both of your parents, and strength, patience and courage to you and your husband.

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