Slice of Life: Saturday Morning #SOL16


I have been contemplating joining Slice of Life for a while. I've been writing in secret, reticent to have others read my words. Mostly, since January, these words have been about my mother. Today I decided. It's time. I'm jumping in.

Saturday Morning

I pick up two cups of coffee as I enter the hospital. My mother loves her coffee. I carry them carefully along the hall eastward towards where the medical wing is, bypassing the door to emergency, past super track, through nuclear medicine and beyond the elevators. Finally I get to the stairs. I push the door open and walk up them, wondering how mom will be today. I perch one coffee precariously on the other to open the door and return to another short hallway.
Then I'm in her room but she's not there. I put the coffee on her table, take off my coat and unplug my earbuds. Where is she? Have they taken her for more tests? Then the nurse brings her out of the washroom.

Mom is washed and her hair is clean, but it only takes a moment to realize that while she knows me, she's not really here today. It isn't that she's confabulating or even delirious. She's just in a kind of stupor and can barely sign the birthday card I brought in for one of her grandkids. She wants the coffee, but has no energy to sit up and drink it. As she signs the card she tilts to the right and back. I'm afraid she's going to fall over. I get her lying back down. She rouses to ask if she wrote, "All my love," in the card. I tell her yes, although I can't read what she has written. 

She dozes and I put my hand in hers. Even though she's almost out of it today, she grips mine with a ferocious strength. Today there will be no conversation about the old days. She won't remember that Daddy died on this day twenty five years ago. She won't tell me how hard it was when she lost her mother and that I’ll carry her with me when she is gone. 

I ask the nurse about her medication. She brings in the chart and I see that they gave her melatonin last night. I sit and worry, wondering what to do next. I note that I will have to do some research on the effects of melatonin and haldol on someone who has had a brain injury. There will be conversations with her doctors. Next week we face tests to determine if the cancer has metastasized into her brain. Decisions must be made about where she will go once she leaves the hospital. 

I don't have the energy to deal with all this right now. In this moment, Mom is gripping my hand like she will never let go. I acknowledge without words, I'm here for her. Today it's enough and all that really matters.

25 comments:

  1. What a beautiful slice, Cheriee. I'm so glad you decided to join the SOL community. As you move forward with your mom, I hope that writing will bring you comfort and clarity. Hope to see you back next week!

    Jennifer

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. Writing does that and more.

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  2. What a wonderful tribute to your mom, Cheriee. I'm glad you've joined the SOL community and I hope writing about your experience with your mom will bring you comfort and confidence in your writing. This slice was very good. I felt the underlying emotions. :) Keep up the good work.

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    1. Thanks Lisa - I guess I've joined for feedback and hope to get better.

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  3. I'm glad you have joined us, Cheriee, and remember yesterday's post about your mom. This is beautifully written, a sweet piece honoring your mom where she is right now. I hope you have someone to help you make decisions needed. It's hard to try to do for a loved one and try to do the best thing. Hugs to you in these days.

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    1. Thanks Linda - I am lucky to have a fabulous group of siblings and extended family. Mom actually had almost everything taken care of before she died. (it still isn't easy to say the d word)

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  4. Such a tender moment. I'm glad you were there for your mom. I'm sure that it can't be easy. I like how you shared your thoughts in the slice. Hope to see you slicing more on TWT!

    My blog site is aggiekesler.wordpress.com

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  5. So very please that you joined our community and hope that your writing brings you strength and peace and maybe laughter and insight. I look forward to reading more.

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  6. So glad you have joined us! A beautifully written piece. I was right there with you. I lost my mother three years ago and all of this still seems so familiar! Sending you care and good thoughts!

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    1. it is amazing what triggers memories and opens up old wounds!

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  7. I am also so very glad you are here. What a beautiful piece, and painful at the same time. You won't regret a single moment of hand-holding. I've come to see helping a loved one in the end of their life as a special privilege and honor.... A way to repay all the kindness that's been shown.

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    1. Exactly - I have no regrets and consider a gift to have been there for Mom.

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  8. Welcome! Your told your slice, bit by bit so clearly. I felt those coffee cups as you juggled to open the door. And then I too felt your mother's hand in yours. Keep writing and posting. I think I can learn from you how to care when it feels overwhelming.

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    1. Oh Sally, these are very kind words. I've discovered that it is all about just keeping on taking the next step.

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  9. Thank you for sharing. I feel by writing the memories of the times with your mother, you clarify it and help to move it to somewhere it will always be remembered.

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    1. Yes indeed Carol - writing is what has gotten me through it all

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  10. I'm so glad you shared this beautiful piece. I'm so glad your mom has your hand to hold. I'm sorry for the rough days. I hope you keep writing.

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  11. I'm so glad you decided to take the Slice of Life leap. And what a wonderful post to start with! This is so beautifully written with such vivid descriptions of your mother. Keep writing. It helps.

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  12. Cheriee, so glad you are here with this writing community and bravely sharing.

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  13. Cheriee, every ounce of your pain and frustration and love and acceptance is felt by the reader of this piece. Watching and waiting is the hardest part of this entire life process. I once read something someone wrote about their mother with dementia. It brought me to my knees and I wept after reading the piece. One line in particular stood out for me, and all last year, as I witnessed my own loving mother's decline and her suffering, I recited this to myself over and over again: Love her for who she is today. Your mother's strong hold on your hand was proof that she knew who you were and that you have a powerful love for her. Keep that with you, and may you find some peace. MaribethBatcho.wordpress.com

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